Manipulative-Based Activities
That Engage Young Readers

Activity 1: Early Literacy & Phonemic Awareness

Segmenting Words into Phonemes | Grades K - 1

A strong ability to orally segment whole words into individual sounds (or phonemes) helps children later on when they begin to decode words in text.

Try It!

Alphabet Center Pocket Chart

Using picture cards in a pocket chart as prompts, children in a literacy center recite the words for the pictures and orally segment the words into their individual phonemes

Segmenting Words into Phonemes Materials:

Activity 2: Phonics

C-V-C Words | Grades K - 1

After children learn the letters and their sounds, they can learn to build simple words. The first word-building pattern students learn is C-V-C (consonant-vowel-consonant). In C-V-C words, the vowels are always short.

C-V-C Materials:

Activity 3: Fluency & Text Comprehension

Questioning & Predicting | Grades 1 - 3

Good readers ask themselves questions as they read and find answers within the text. This process helps children develop a deep understanding of the material they are learning.

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Conversation Cubes

While reading a book, a child pauses from time to time to roll question word cubes. He then asks himself (and answers) the questions he rolls.

Activity 4: Writing

Commas | Grades 1 - 3

Commas tell readers when to pause while reading aloud, contributing to fluency and comprehension.

Try It!

Reading Rods® Sentences Building Kit

Using the Reading Rods® Sentences Building Kit, have children build a sentence with a comma and read the sentence aloud. Then, they remove the comma and try to re-read the sentence.

Comma Materials

Activity 5: Writing

Anatomy of a Paragraph | Grades 1 - 3

The first sentence of a paragraph is usually the topic sentence, which states the main idea. In most cases, every paragraph also has two or more supporting sentences, followed by a concluding sentence.

Try It!

Hamburger Sequencing Pocket Chart

A class goes on a nature walk and writes sentences on sentence strips to describe the experience. Then, students arrange the sentences into a logical paragraph.

Paragraph Materials:

Activity 6: Grammar

Building a Simple Sentence | Grades 1 - 3

The color-coded Reading Rods® system teaches the simple sentence formula: 1 green rod (noun or pronoun) + 1 yellow rod (verb) + end punctuation. All other rods add more information to the simple sentence.

Try It!

Reading Rods® Simple Sentences Kit

A child connects one green noun rod and one yellow rod, and adds a period to create a sentence. Then, she adds an adverb rod.

Simple Sentences Materials: