Children learn best when they're having fun. Based on this principle, we often try to find ways to teach sight words in a way that is engaging and enjoyable - through sight word games.
This is the theory behind the sight words game: Tower Challenge.
We started with a pile of blocks and then stuck on stickers with sight words written on them. We were concentrating on eight sight words only.
Because there were so many blocks, there were five blocks bearing each sight word.
Once all the blocks were tagged, they were stacked. When stacking the blocks, we had to place them in a pattern so that each layer was at right angles to the previous layer.
We were then ready to play.
The Aim of the Sight Words Tower Game
To remove one block at a time from within the tower stack without knocking the tower over.
To Play the Sight Words Tower Game
Each player takes turns to push or prod one block out of the tower.
Once free, the player must read the word on the block and then stack it on the top of the tower.
The next player then takes a turn to do the same.
Because each word is repeated often, the sight words are learnt quickly.
The game finishes when the tower falls over.
After this, we simply stacked them all back up again and played the game over.
This game took a little time to set up, but was well worth it. The interest of the boys was definitely captured and they were happy to participate.
While the focus of the game was on sight words, the boys also engaged other skills while playing such as:
- Social skills - taking turns
- Patience - the game needs to be played slowly and thoughtfully or the tower falls over
- Problem solving skills - trying to working out which blocks can be moved and which can't/ how to move a block which appears to be stuck
- Science - experiencing that only certain blocks can be moved as some are weight bearing/ balancing weight to ensure the tower remains upright
- Reading - decoding and recognising words
- Recalling rules - playing by the guidelines of the game
- Maths - placing the blocks in a reoccurring pattern when stacking the tower.
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