Saturday, 27 May 2017

Practising spelling and structure

I've written before about ways of supporting children as they start to write words, phrases and sentences.  We can give them letter cards to try out spelling and also arrange the parts of the sentences into writing frames or dice grids.

Sometimes, to assist children in collecting together a series of correct sentences to act as a model, I give them an activity like this one:
For the first four sentences, the letters are in the right order, but there are no capital letters, finger spaces or punctuation.  The children have to rewrite the sentences, adding those aspects.  The second group of sentences have the finger spaces, but no capital letters or punctuation.  Oh, and the letters in each word are not in the right order.  The children have to unmix the letters so that each sentence makes sense.  All 8 sentences have the same structure, though, and at the end of the activity (which they usually self- or peer-assess) they will have 8 model sentences to help them when they come to do their own writing.

I've recently rediscovered a website that will allow you to create a variation on this kind of activity - the Reverse Text Generator from Text Mechanic.

If I take the basic sentence il fait chaud aujourd'hui, I can:
  • reverse it: iuh'druojua duahc tiaf li
  • reverse the wording: hui'aujourd chaud fait il
  • reverse each word's lettering: li tiaf duahc druojua'iuh
  • write the sentence upside down!: ınɥ,pɹnoɾnɐ pnɐɥɔ ʇıɐɟ ןı
Making sentences using some of these methods would again require children to transliterate the sentences to make them correct, and again provide them with an accurate model which they can then adapt.

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