1. Overview

The child matches the sight word flash cards to pictures. The activity provides opportunities for practicing sight word recognition and developing speed for nouns. The activity is easy to scale to a level that is challenging and can be a self-directed activity making it particularly well suited for station time.

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2. Materials Checklist

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3. Instructions

Given the matching set of image and word flash cards, the child’s task is to match the word to the appropriate image.

Video: Sight Words Matching Game

The child is provided with a matching set of word and picture flash cards and is prompted to match the word to the corresponding picture. We begin with a small set of cards, and build to a larger set as the child masters the smaller sets.

Begin by laying out a small set (3 pairs) of matching word and picture flash cards. You want to begin with a set of words that the child is familiar with. Select the first word, and prompt the child to read the word.

Teacher: Lets do some word and picture matching. Are you ready? (wait for commitment) Teacher: Do you know what word this is?
When the child responds correctly, follow up by asking them to find the matching image and place it next to the word.
Teacher: That’s right, it is the word apple. Can you put the picture of the apple with the word apple?
Affirm the child’s correct choice, then move onto the next word.
Teacher: Great. You matched the word apple to the picture of the apple. Teacher: What is this word? (moving onto the second word
The exercise continues until the child has matched all the cards. If a child gives an incorrect response, we give appropriate feedback and ask them to try again, escalating the amount of leading after each mistake. For example:
Teacher: It’s not dog, lets try again. What is this word? (after first mistake)
Teacher: It’s not snake, lets try again. It begins with an ‘ah’. ‘Ah’ What is this word? (after second mistake)
Teacher: It says apple. What does this word say? (after third mistake)
As the child increases their mastery of the exercise, we add more flash cards to the set so that they have more choices. We can also add the ocassional new word to the set to help the child grow their vocabulary. We can also move this from a guided activity to an independent activity. During the transition we may get the child started doing their first few matches, then ask them to finish up the set themselves. But eventually, the child can get the flash cards and do the activity without any instruction.

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4. Variations

The matching activity is one of the most versatile and can be scaled up or down to fit almost any difficult level.

4.1 Larger Vocabulary

The most basic variation for this game is to increase the number of pairs of flash cards we use at the same time. While a beginning student may only have a set of three flash cards, an advanced student can navigate a set of up to thirty flash cards.

The task also become more difficult when you use words that are similar, particularly words with common initial letters of final letters. Adding some of these similar words will help the child stop relying exclusively on strategies that depend solely on using the initial and final letters to read the words. For example using ball and bell.

4.2 Distracting Words

To add further difficult to the game, you can add a set of distracting flash cards that include highly similar words or misspellings of the words. This helps the child learn more sophisticated pattern recognition skills as they can no longer rely on simple heuristic like relying on the first few sounds to guide their choice. For example to a set with boy, you could add buoy, buy, or bly.

4.3 Models

The exercise is already somewhat kinesthetic with the child moving the flash cards around. For the child that benefits from something even more kinesthetic we can use figurines instead of picture flash cards so that the child gets the tactile experience of touching the figurines and moving them around. Figurines are easiest to source around themes such as animals, professions, or colors. (Add amazon links)

4.3 Race

Have the children race against each other or a clock to see who can completely match their set the fastest. Have the children start together and then put both their hands up when they have finished. This activity adds a bit of fun to the activity and helps the child add speed.

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5. Assessment

The activity makes a good assessment point for the children to measure their knowledge of the vocabulary set and to understand which words are causing them difficulty. Have the child (or children) perform the task and mark their correct matching of each word. To demonstrate mastery of the exercise, the child should be able to do a set of ten words with 100% accuracy with a minimum of hesitation.

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One Response to “12A: Sight Words Matching”

  1. Gajan

    Great tutorial. My daughter is having trouble with mistaking words that are similar. (For example cloth and clot) Is this ok for sight words, or should we work on the exact spelling?


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