Thursday, June 6, 2013

If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss Sight Word Activities

Today's Skills Focus is Sight Words. These are the words that children need to be able to look at and say immediately without sounding them out. When children can read these words quickly it causes them to move at a good pace through the reading material and doing that improves the changes for good comprehension. Now, we are not going to be speed reading with 4 year olds, but this is an important skill for the successful and fluent reading of age appropriate materials.

We will be using Dr. Seuss' If I Ran the Circus to address Sight Words. A circus theme is so much fun! There are a ton of silly, simple carnival style games that you can play!

Balloon Pop! At the beginning of the story Morris McGurk feels that the owner of the spot where the circus could be located, Mr. Sneelock, could help doing small jobs at the circus like selling balloons. A fun way to work on sight words could be to put the words inside small balloons by rolling them into a very narrow tube and then blow up the balloons. Have your child sit on the balloon to pop it and get the card. Then read the word!

Sight Word Lasso! In the story, on Stage Number Four the creature uses his tail as a lassoo (rhymes with the creatures name, but it looks just like a lasso!) Take a piece of rope, yarn, string or other object that can be shaped into a lasso shape. Make your lasso and place the sight word cards on the floor. Toss the lasso toward the words and say the word or words that you caught!

Mini-Lasso! Along the same lines as the Sight Word Lasso game above create a mini-lasso out of a pipe cleaner or twist tie and as you are reading this story lasso words that are on your child's sight word list. It'll take a little bit longer to read the story, but it'll be so much more interactive and your child can practice his sight words as he is reading with you! Children who can understand why they are doing something, generally are more willing to keep working. So if he sees his sight words in the story and reads them, he'll realize that these are words that he will encounter and that's why he needs to practice them.

Marcher! Marching and stomping are lots of fun! In the story there are some creatures that march in five layers. Lay out the sight word cards and march from one word to the next. Keep good form!

Here are some cards that you can print for the level your child needs:

PrePrimer Cards (4 to 5 year olds)
Primer Cards (5-6 year olds)
1st Grade Cards (6-7 year olds)
2nd Grade Cards (7-8 year olds)

If you need the book, I have a link to it on Amazon or go check out your local library!

I hope that you and your child have a great time practicing sight words. Do you have any carnival or circus theme sight word games you have played? Share them in the comment section below!

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