Using word charts with preschool and kindergarten children has many literacy benefits and requires little to no prep! Word charts can help children make the connection between spoken and written words. My kids love creating word charts, and they have absolutely no idea they’re learning crucial literacy skills.
Word charts can be made on butcher paper, an easel, a white board, a chalkboard, at a table, or any writing surface. Keep it simple and use whatever works for you! This word chart focused on shapes but you can make a word chart for any topic.
How to Easily Use Word Charts with Children
We made a word chart to connect with the book we were reading: Shapes in the Kitchen by Tracey Steffora. Shapes in the Kitchen helps children understand how math is all around us by helping children identify familiar objects as shapes.
I decided to do a word chart as an extension of the book after we finished reading it aloud. I like to do this during circle time in the classroom. With my own children, we sit around the kitchen table for this activity. It is meant to be a time for the children to brainstorm and connect what I read to them with their own lives.
Since the book is all about shapes that are in a kitchen, my big question was “Which shape is it?” Now it was their turn to think about what they saw around their kitchen.
Which Shape Is It?
I began by writing the question at the very top of the paper: “Which shape is it?” I added some small pictures to help them decode the options, and they were off with ideas galore!
As the children thought of objects in the kitchen, I simply wrote them all down. Sometimes, when I am making a word chart I add their names next to their answers or ask the child to come write his or her name. There is lots of flexibility with this. The point is to help children see that their words have meaning and how those words look in print.
As you can see, they came up with several ideas! They thought about foods, appliances, surfaces, and three different types of pizza.
This word chart activity was an engaging process that gave the children the chance to see the connection between speaking and writing. It is a wonderful literacy activity that children enjoy and can be used for any theme.
BIO: Katie writes at Preschool Inspirations and has been teaching and administrating preschool and early childhood programs for a total of 14 years. She loves making literacy fun in the classroom and has lots of ideas for hands-on alphabet activities. For more of Katie’s tips, you can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram.
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