Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chain of Words

This is my fourth blog post in my series "Feature Presentation...Word Work!". I ADORE teaching literacy and writing because it is truly the key to unlocking the learning process across the content areas!!

Today's feature presentation is about a super fun activity to enlist the knowledge of a team of little learners in their effort to review the entire word wall...we can't forget about the words we have studied in week's past!

This activity is endearingly called "Chain of Words" by my little ones, and they love to hang their handiwork around the classroom. It is suuuper easy to set up and quickly brightens up a bare wall, ceiling, most teacher's case...adds color to a wall that is already weighed down with the wonderful work of their children!

Teacher preparation is as simple as cutting a stack of long rectangles in a variety of colors (or if you want to get really snazzy you could only cut rectangles in the color that fits your learning space color scheme!) I keep a basket full of these colorful strips always at hand on my Word Work bookshelf space!

To get started with "Chain of Words" students simply work in a small groups of 3-6 to build a chain of words they can confidently read and spell! The small group decides who will kick start the game and this student selects a word from the classroom word wall. Then, they adorn their selected word on one piece of colored paper. The next kiddo in the group searches the word wall for a word that begins with the last letter of the previously chosen word. For example, student 1 chooses the word "these" and student 2 selects the word "each." 

The chain of words continues on with each student recording their word on their paper and attaching as they go with tape. I remember being dubious of my little ones ability to attach and manipulate the tape, but wow-y they always manage! I am convinced it's because they get slightly competitive about making a chain that's ridiculously long in the designated 15 minute time frame!

It should also be noted that each time a whole "round" of students attaches their word to the chain, they are expected to each read and mini "quiz" one another on the spelling of their words so that we never forget our previously studied words. I also like this word work activity because it teaches students to truly use their word wall...they really do reference it while writing!! I promise!

Give it a's fun, practical, and helpful in the beginning of the year when teaching students about how to use the easily accessible classroom word wall! Oh yeah, it's also adorable!


  1. That sounds like such a fun activity! Thanks for sharing! :)

    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  2. Ellen,

    I'm always looking for ways to utilize our word wall words more. Thank you for the idea. I love the cooperative learning aspect of it. I'm going to try it in the fall!

    First Grade Schoolhouse

  3. I just read your guest post over at Wild about Teaching. It was awesome! My brain is spinning with ideas! I'm your newest follower. I loop so I do kindergarten and then take my kids on to first grade. Next year I'll be in first. I'm excited to find a new first grade blog.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten