Fluency—or the ability to read at a constant, relatively fast speed—is an important skill for early readers to learn. You can use this activity to teach your child how to read more fluently. But don’t only treat “I Caught You” as a fluency drill; it’s also a lot of fun! Your child, and you, will laugh at the funny words you substitute in for the real ones, and your child will enjoy “catching” your mistakes.
What You Do:
- Tell your child that you are going to play a reading game together called “I Caught You.” Instruct your child to call out “I caught you!” when you read the wrong word.
- Start reading the book as quickly as you can, with your child sitting next to you looking at the words.
- Randomly say a different word instead of the one in the story. This first time, choose an obvious word if possible. For example, you might say, “The first bowl of porridge was too hot. The second bowl of porridge was too cucumber.” Do not stress the incorrect word.
- When your child says “I caught you!” congratulate her. Then explain that it’s her turn to read, and that she should eventually read the wrong word on purpose so that you can try to catch her.
- Repeat this game several times, switching roles each time one of you “catches” the other.
- Challenge your child by adding the rule that you can only say “I caught you” before the other person reads the next word. If the person reading has already read the next word, you have to wait until the next incorrect word to say “I caught you” and get your turn.
Your child may even enjoy playing this game with friends who are on a similar reading level. Make sure to emphasize that the goal is to have fun, not just to “catch” the other person’s mistakes!