Today's lesson was fun. It had some cutting with scissors involved, and some nonsense sentences causing giggles. In the end it went off on a bit of a tangent, but that was OK. Interest is a key element of our reading lessons, and when SA is interested in something to do with reading, I (usually) happily follow him there.
I started the lesson by printing the words
"By the big red barn in the great green fieldin blue crayon on a white piece of paper. I was going to cut the words out, but SA decided he wanted to do that, so he did.
there was a pink pig who was learning to squeal."
Before we started to have fun with the words, SA pulled out the word "learning."
"I don't want to use this word, Mama," he said.
"That is a long word, isn't it?" I replied. "I think we can still use it. Look closely at it. It says 'learning.'"
(We have not yet focused on the word "learning" or "squeal" in our lessons. I decided we needed a fun lesson today, though.)
I picked out a few words and arranged them in a sentence for SA to read.
"There was a pink barn."
He hesitated over the word "there," saying "three" instead. I simply corrected him, without making a big deal about it. This lesson is all about practice, after all. He should know the word well by the time we're done with it. He read the rest smoothly, smiling about the pink barn.
I grabbed the word "green" and substituted it for the word "pink." He read the sentence smoothly, but by this time he was ready for it to be a red barn.
"OK," I said. "You find the word 'red' and put it in the right place."
He did so, and read the sentence again. Wait a minute, it should be a big red barn. He hunted among the words, found the missing word, and put it in.
I had a trick up my sleeve. I took away the word "barn" and substituted "pig."
"There was a big red pig."
Giggles all around. While he looked for the word "pink" to put in, I grabbed the word "green," put it in, and got him to read it again.
Finally we got it right, and I scrambled up the words again.
I arranged a new sentence.
"There was a great big squeal."
SA read it correctly, but thought the sentence needed more. He found the words "in the red barn" and added them to the end. He looked around for the word "big," then realized we had already used it.
"Should we make another one?" I asked.
"Yes," he responded. So we did, and he put it in the right place.
"There was a great big squeal in the big red barn."
We continued in this way for about ten minutes, and our reading lesson was over for the day.
Or was it?
SA had the scissors again. He cut the "g" off the word "big."
"I want to make another word," he said.
"OK," I said. "You can write another letter on the paper and add it to make a new word."
I went off to do some dishes.
He came to me a minute later. He'd printed the letter "s" and added it to make the "word" "bis."
"What does this say, Mama?"
"It says 'bis.' That's not really a word. How about you try a different letter? What letter would you need to add to the end to make the word 'bit?'"
"No, I want to make the word 'biscuit,'" he said.
"Mrs. Koughan makes biscuits!" shouted JJ.
So I printed the letters "cuit" on a paper, cut it out, and added it to make the word biscuit.
The end. For today, anyway. :)
Big Red Barn Reading Lesson 1
Big Red Barn Reading Lessons 2 and 3
Big Red Barn Reading Lessons 5, 6, and 7
The Awesome Mystery of Growth in Reading