Build it Up

Beginning Reading

Allison Nall



Rationale: Students will practice spelling words with consonants and short vowels. The procedures allow students to “self-teach” themselves in a way that make them more comfortable and proud of their accomplishments. The Word Building lesson greatly improves children’s abilities to read and decode words.


Materials:         Pocket chart for teacher and individual students

                        Letters for the word list for each student

                        Words and letters include: hit, hid, a, d, h, i, s, t, had, sad, sat, hat, at, it, hit

                        Class set of decodable book- Liz is Six


Procedures: 1. Introduce the lesson by saying we are going to practice building words. It’s important to be able to read words, because they can tell us very important things. We wouldn’t be able to read out favorite stories if no one knew how to read. We will build some words today that we will all be able to read. We are going to build some simple words with all kinds of different letters. We are also going to be working with the /i/ and /a/ sounds again. Be sure and pay attention so that you know just what letters to put so that you can spell the word and read it correctly!


2. The teacher hands out all of the materials, but she begins by modeling what they will be doing. The teacher spells out hit in her word pocket. This is the word hit; see if you can read it with me. [Sound out hit.] Remember the i makes the “iiiiicky stiiiiicky” sound. Now, I’m going to change one letter in this word and make a whole different word. [Teacher replaces the t with a d to make the word hid.] Now say hid with me.


3. Now you are going to spell some words on your own, but I will tell you what letters to use and where to put them. Now I want you to put the letter a between the h and s. Remember, /a/ says aaaaaah, like you are going to the doctor. What word is this? [Spell out had.] Now change the h to an s. What word is this? [Spell out sad.] Now I want you to put the t where the d is. What word is this? [Spell out sat.] Now we are going to change the s to an h. What word is this? [Spell out hat.] Now, see if you can take away a letter to spell the word at. [See if children can do it, and if not, show them how to take away the s.] Now we are going to change a to i, what word is this? [Spell out it.] For our last letter, we are going to add an h at the beginning, what word is this? [Spell out hit.]


4. Next, the teacher will pass out decodable books Liz is Six to have children read. Go through the story once with the children. Read it one more time, and have children point out words that they spelled today.


5. For assessment, provide a simple quiz with the same words from the wordlist and see if each child can read them.




Beck, Isabel L. (2006). Making Sense of Phonics: The Hows and Whys. (55-63) New

            York: The Guilford Press.