Listen & Find Word Search

Many moons ago ( OK 2003) I was student teaching the 6th grade ( yes most were taller than me) and I was teaching a unit on the book  Holes by Louis Sachar. I was reading the book to my students and losing their attention . To keep it I created a bingo game of words in each chapter. I’d hand out the sheets, they’d listen for the words and mark ones they heard. It was exactly what they needed to stay engaged and our discussions at the end of the chapters went from 2 kids to most of the class. Today I am sharing how I modified this for my son who is 5 and just starting to read independently.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, a marker, a book and a dot paint marker .
  2. Before calling your child to play flip through the book and choose some words. I only chose each word once, and did one for every two pages so I could read it out loud to him at a normal speed without him having to stop too often to bam the paper. With one kid I just had a sheet to fill, not a bingo format. sight word games
  3. Start reading.
  4. It was a hit from the start . I will be doing this with many other books in the future.
  5. Bam!
  6. When he missed a word I invited him to look for it in the book.
  7. Got it!

Making reading a game has been a big part of my son’s ease into reading. Still even now that he is reading well he doesn’t always want to read books to my husband or I opting to read to his sister or alone. Building confidence is tricky. Instead of forcing them to read aloud  when they don’t want to , play some games and let the fun build the confidence. After their confidence builds they will be much more apt to read aloud .


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  1. Courtney says

    I am a 28 yr old mom of three and I am amazed at how simply creative you are. Thanks for inspiration. I think my son is going to love this as well as my four year old daughter. I came across this site because my son has sensory processing disorder so I was looking for activites to do with him. I found so much more! Thanks for all the creative activities.

    • admin says

      Thank you Courtney your comment was the first thing I read today and it was a great way to start a day! I was so excited he loved it as much as he does and hope I can use it to read books I want to slip in between the many Star Wars books.

  2. says

    Great idea! There are so many activities that we can adapt if we just think outside of the box. That’s why I love reading blogs for all ages, because I may find something that I can use but just change up a bit. I student taught in 6th grade, too. Holes is an interesting book for sure! Very different concepts/themes. Enjoy your day.


  3. says

    I have been reading your blog awhile now but had yet to comment. (Sorry about that! I stink lol) But I wanted to let you know how AWESOME I think all your projects and blog posts are!

    I am currently a nanny for a 21-month-old and have been loving the fabulous ideas I’ve garnered from your site. My only wish is that I found you while I worked in daycares! Thank you so much for all your tips, ideas, and inspiration 🙂

    • admin says

      Thank you so much ! I am terrible at commenting on blogs too , I do most of my reading while I nurse and typing one handed on an iphone is hard enough I have to really really want to say something 🙂

  4. says

    I am a substitute teacher for students with special needs and I am excited to share this concept to learning words with their teacher! Plus I’m going to do his activity with my grand children this summer!

  5. Kris says

    This is a brilliant idea. I am a school librarian and wonder how I can adapt this for larger groups?

    I’m thinking I will read through the selection before and choose the words for the lesson, type them up and print them out, making a copy for each student. They can cross out the word as they hear it. My concern is this method seems very dull and ‘worksheet’ like. Do you have another option?

    • Allison McDonald says

      How I did this with a large group of 6th graders when I was student teaching was I turned it into bingo. Which means you have to make a few different game boards and be prepared for 4-5 kids to all yell bingo at once. I was too lazy to make them all random. It’s not hard to do and kids even big ones in big groups love it.


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