What You Need:
- Old catalogs or magazines with pictures that can be cut out
- Pencil or crayon
- Paper to write in-between words (lined paper especially made for beginning writers works well)
- Construction paper to use as background
What You Do:
- Start with a sentence. For example: start your sentence with the word "I", and explain to your child how the word sounds like "eye". Have him draw a picture of an eye, or cut one out or help him create a symbol that is recognizable as an eye. Cut out pictures of other nouns, or create pictographs of nouns. Nouns are often easier to create symbols for than verbs.
- Work with your child to develop a sentence around two or more noun pictures. Repeat the words over a few times and listen to the sounds.
- Find images or draw images to take the place of the noun. You might also start with a pile of nouns and have your child make up a sentence including a noun picture.
- Help your beginning reader write the in between words on squares of construction paper and cut them out. The list of some sight words may include: all, am, are, at, ate, be, black, brown, but, came, did, do, eat, four, get, good, have, he, into, like, must, new, no, now, on, our, out, please, pretty, ran, ride, saw, say, she, so, soon, that, there, they, this, too, under, want, was, well, went, what, white.
- Paste the appropriate words and images on the paper to make their message.
As your young writer becomes more comfortable with this ancient communication tool you might develop your own message system. The combination of symbols and words allows a new reader to create messages very quickly and gives a sense of accomplishment as well as strengthening his sight word recognition skills. As your child progresses try combining letters with images to create even more words.