Friday, August 2, 2013

DIY Literacy Road

Keeping young students engaged while learning the alphabet can be challenging sometimes.  When we provide our students with tactile and kinesthic experiences to practice emergent literacy skills, it is a win-win for both students and teachers. Here is a DIY center to keep your students driving down the road to alphabet recognition success.  And it is easy to differentiate, so your students can also work on letter sounds, phonemic awareness, substitution of sounds, and word families.

Here is a quick, inexpensive way to build a road for your students.  Buy 3 long sheets of black craft foam paper.  Using a sentence strip as a guide, cut strips through your craft foam.  Glue a "speed bump" (yellow craft foam) on top of one end of the road strip.  You will need to put a magnet strip on the underneath side of the speed bump part of the road.  Also place a magnet strip on top of the opposite end of the road.  I make a road strip for each letter of the alphabet.

Add a "start" sign on the "a" road.  Notice that I placed a magnetic strip underneath the speed bump "a."  I  also write the vowels in red.  Students know when they go over the vowel speed bump, it doesn't change the word.  

Students can build the road in ABC order.  I always use lowercase letters because those are the ones they will encounter the most when reading.

Use your extra Hot Wheel cars and put a foam strip word family on several cars.  I usually put 2-4 different word families in the tub.  When the student drives the car over the bump, it changes to a different word (except the vowels).  Students can say whether it makes a real word or a "pretend" word.  If you have 1st grade students, they can record the words they make.  

I put magnets on a few side pieces of the road so it can can have turns instead of being a straight road. You can differentiate this for your students PreK-1st Grade.  They can drive the cars and say their ABC's (naming), their  sounds, or play the "Speed Bump" word family game.

My favorite part of the game is that it is quieter because it's made out of  foam.  YES - always an added bonus in a busy early childhood classroom:-)

Here are our whole group "Speed Bump" cars that they students hold during group time.   We take turns stepping on speed bumps around the room to change our words.

Want a fun song to play with the road game?  Take a sneak peak at my Five Word Families Multimedia file.

You can find it on Teachers Pay Teachers.  And it's on sale today.  Click HERE to see it on my store.

I also have a GAME ACTIVITY PACK and BOOK SET and the mp3 INDIVIDUAL SONG that goes with it too.  Have fun building Literacy Roads!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I just adore this Kathy! Well done as always! It is simple- it is fun- it is good teaching! :)