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Winter Words Fun!

While Mississippi doesn't typically see a lot of snow in December, Tally Tales Literacy students are enjoying a special kind of SNOW this week! We have been reviewing sight words with special "Sight Word Snowballs!"

This activity is easy to prepare, effective for skills review, and so much fun! Also, since we are using "snowballs," this is a great WINTER-themed activity that can be used throughout the next couple of months!

Repetition is one of the essential components for helping students store sight words in long-term memory for rapid retrieval. Compared with a typical reader, a dyslexic reader requires significantly more EXPLICIT experiences with foundational reading skills, including sight words. My students think they are just playing a "snowball toss" game; meanwhile, their brains are receiving support in building neural pathways. All this "fun" actually strengthens their ability to interpret our linguistic code!

Here are the details, so you can easily implement this activity into your classroom soon!

Get Ready...

You need "snowballs." You can use scrap paper, plain white paper, even notebook paper (which is what I used for this particular set!) to make snowballs. Simply wad them up into a good ball. Then print (or write) the words you want your students to review. Attach them with clear tape, and you are ready to go!

Note: You could also use letters, instead of words, for letter/sound reinforcement!

Get Set...

Prepare your space by putting the snowballs in some type of container (bucket, basket, etc.). Students will also need a timer. I use sand timers because my students love them, and watching the sand fall somehow adds another element of suspense as time is running out!


My students work as partners. Two students pick up snowballs, read the word (they must read it correctly!) and then toss the snowball to the bucket. If they miss, they have to retrieve the snowball, read the word again, and toss it again before getting another snowball. Meanwhile, one student is on standby as a "helper" in case the readers get stuck on a word. The other remaining student is the timer. He/she tells the students when to "go," flips the timer, watches the sand fall, and tells us all when to "stop!" This is typically a one-minute game, and then we all swap jobs.

You could modify this as needed to use with more students or set up different "teams" throughout your classroom. Once the prep work is done, you will have an activity that can be used all winter long. I promise your students will love it! Check out a few action shots from one of my groups below.

I can't get enough of these smiles!


Colorful Alphabets
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