Build Sentence Puzzles

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What You Need:

  • Index cards
  • Scotch tape
  • Pencil
  • Glue stick
  • Safety scissors
  • Colored cellophane wrap
  • Lined paper
  • Construction paper

What You Do:

1. Ask your child to copy the following sentences onto lined paper: She ate an ice cream cone! Sam likes to read about dogs.

2. Have her cut out the sentences she wrote, trimming off any excess paper, then ask her to glue each sentence onto its own piece of construction paper. Help your child draw puzzle-like swirling lines between the words in each of the sentences, then ask her to cut out each piece along the swirls.

3. Put all the pieces on the table and mix them up.

 4. Read each sentence aloud and ask your child to find each of the word pieces. As she finds them, she should lay each piece down in its appropriate order, fitting them together like a puzzle. Don’t butt in, let your child find the pieces on her own and make her own mistakes in the process. When a piece doesn’t fit, remind your child that this means that the words aren’t in the correct order for the sentence. If she gets stumped, offer clues. For example, remind her that sentences read from left to right and ask “Which word comes at the beginning of this sentence?” (She) “How do you know?” (Because it starts with a capital letter.) Point out that there are hints on some of the pieces. For example, the last word of a sentence always has a punctuation mark, because that marks the end of a thought.

Once your child has finished putting her sentences together, she may want to read them. She can create a Word Highlighter, by cutting out a rectangle in the center of an index card, and covering the hole with cellophane. As she moves her eye over each word in the sentence, she can move the highlighter, too, to create a window. This helps isolate the different pieces of a sentence and it’s a great way to practice reading. Plus, it’s a cool tool to tuck into her back packet to make story time special!

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