Thursday, April 28, 2011

Word Ladders

The Daily Word Ladders books by Scholastic are a great resource for building vocabulary and spelling skills.

Available for grades 1-2, 2-3, and 4-6, each book uses the same concept at increasingly difficult levels. Each page shows a ladder of 5 to 10 rungs. The first rung has a word. The second rung gives a clue for the word that belongs on the next rung and lines for each letter of that word. For instance, on one ladder the first word is "coat" and the clue for the next rung is "A black rock that produces heat. Change one letter." The activity continues in this manner, with clues to add, subtract, rearrange, or change letters to create a word with a particular meaning until you reach the top rung. Each page has a theme to which the top and bottom word belong-- so "hot" may be turned in to "cold" or "coat" turned into "glove".

The wonderful thing about word ladders is they combine the elements of a game with some great brain exercises. It's fun to discover that changing a single letter changes the sounds of almost all the letters around it. These books are a great addition to vocabulary and spelling curriculums.  We don't use them daily in our family, but they are a fun alternative to our regular curriculum.

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