3 Essential Routines for Engaging Word Work Activities

3 Essential Routines for Word Work Activities

An important part of literacy instruction is word work. Whether during literacy centers, guided reading, whole group instruction, or spelling practice, word work activities give students time to practice important phonics skills!

Implement these 3 essential routines for word work activities in 1st grade and 2nd grade.

  1. Word Sorts
  2. Word Building
  3. Reading & Writing

Choose a few activities from the three types above to include in your word work centers each week.

Word Work Activities: Word Sorts

There are many quick and easy ways your students can practice spelling and word building. Make an anchor chart with 3 or 4 different ways students can practice spelling and building words at your word work center.

Pocket Chart Word Sort: Hang up a pocket chart. Each week, write the words on index cards or print word cards with pictures for students to sort.

Printable Word Sorts: If you want students to have continual access to past word sorts, using a notebook is the way to go!

Word Work Activities: Word Building

There are many quick and easy ways your students can practice spelling and word building. Make an anchor chart with 3 or 4 different ways students can practice spelling and building words at your word work center.

Here are a few low-prep word work activities your students can choose from:

  • Letter tiles & magnets: Build words with letter tiles or magnets
  • Playdough: Build the letters to spell the words with playdough
  • Stamps: Grab a set of alphabet stamps and students can stamp the letters to spell the words
  • Word Building Task Cards: Use pre-made task cards organized by phonics skills to add your centers.
Word work activities: word building cards

Word Work Activities: Puzzles & Dominoes

Finally, allow students to practice their current phonics skills through various puzzle activities. Puzzles and dominoes are fun, hands-on word work activities for literacy centers.

CVC dominoes and puzzles

Free Word Work Activities & Resources

Download the FREE Word Work Activities Starter Kit! You’ll receive:

  • Editable word work choice boards
  • Editable word sort templates
  • Teacher planning templates
  • Phonics charts for vowel sounds, blends, and digraphs
  • 25 hands-on word work activity ideas

Download the FREE word work starter kit!

This free word work starter kit is filled with ideas for getting your word work activities up and running, plus some incredibly helpful resources! Leave your email below to get this sent straight to your inbox!

Want word work activities to last the entire year?

Click here to check out this Ultimate Bundle of Word Work Activities. 

In it, you’ll get word sorts, puzzles, task cards, dominoes, and worksheets for TONS of phonics skills!

  • CVC Words
  • Long A (a_e, ai, ay)
  • Long E (ea, ee, ey, ie, y)
  • Long I (i_e, igh, ie, y)
  • Long O (o_e, oa, ow)
  • Long U (u_e, ue, ui, ew)
  • L-Blends (bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl)
  • S-Blends (sc, sk, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw)
  • R-Blends (br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr)
  • Beginning Digraphs (ch, kn, ph, sh, th, wh, wr)
  • Ending Digraphs (ch, ck, dge, ng, sh, tch, th)
  • Trigraphs (scr, shr, spl, spr, squ, str, thr)
  • R-Controlled (ar, er, ir, or, ur)
  • Diphthongs (oi, oy, ou, ow, ew, oo, au, aw)

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