In Word Ladders, as in Making Words, students are guided to build a series of words as the teacher points out decoding, spelling, and word-meaning clues about the words. However, in word ladders, the letters used for each new word come from the previous word, rather than from a preselected word bank. Students add, subtract, or change one or more letters from the previous word to make new words based on clues from the teacher. Usually, words are listed vertically so that students can easily view each step in the process, and the students write the words in a numbered word ladder on a blank sheet of paper. Ideally, the first and last words are related in some way, to add a sense of mystery or interest to the activity; however, this need not be the case. Here is an example of a Word Ladder to be used in October.
|What the teacher says: |What the student writes: | |1. Begin with trick, a word that means to fool someone. |trick | |2. Change one letter to make a large vehicle used for transporting things. |truck | |3. Change one letter to form a word that is the name for what trains ride or travel on. |track | |4. Change one letter to make a word that means to create a copy of a picture or drawing with a|trace | |pen or pencil on the transparent sheet placed over the picture or drawing. (At this point, | | |discuss what happened to the short –a sound as well as the hard –k sound at the end of the | | |word.) | | |5. Change one letter to make a word that means a thing that supports a body...
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