What Are Word Families?
Teaching children word families is a phonemic awareness technique that helps children see patterns in reading. This is an important language development skill because it allows children to begin “reading” by grouping sets of letters within a word. To put it simply, word families (sometimes called “chunks”) are groups of words that rhyme. The first part of a word is called the onset and the last part of the word is conveniently called the rime. Word families share a similar “rime” as the onset changes.
Letter Dice Word Family Game
This fun family word game using a letter dice is perfect for children who already know their letter names, letter sounds, and are starting to put sounds together to form words (probably around ages 4.5-5). Obviously, this is not a game that I have tried out with either of my kids…but I plan to pass it along to my nephew who will start kindergarten in the fall. I currently only have two sets of word families, but plan to add more so be sure to check back!
- printed copies of the game which can be downloaded here,
- (2) 1-inch wooden blocks
- a permanent marker
- laminator (optional)
Instructions for Letter Word Game:
|1. Download and print the documents I created here. Laminate if you’d like.|
|2. Cut out the letter and word pictures.|
|3. Write the letters for the beginning of the word pictures on the two different wood blocks.|
|4. Arrange the word pictures above the word family mat.|
|5. Let your child roll the letter dice on the mat and then find the matching picture.|
|Continue with the other word family group!|
|Store in a Ziploc bag for next time!|