Friday, January 6, 2012

Mystery Word

Here's a fun word-work activity that can quickly be made ahead of time and is virtually free! (Yay free!)
Each student (or group of students, however you want to do it) is given a baggie with a set of letter "tiles"--aka construction paper squares.

The goal is for the students to arrange the tiles to find the Mystery Word.

Simple, right? Now let me tell you how I made several of these ahead of time and was able to keep them organized and remember which words they all were supposed to be. :)
I coded each word with a symbol, like a purple star or a blue dot. On the back of each tile, I wrote the symbol according to which set it belonged to.

See the one upside-down tile? Now if the tiles get scattered all over and mixed up with other sets, I won't get a headache trying to figure out which set they go to. I made six sets of tiles for each mystery word, but each set is on a different color of paper, so multiple students can work on the same word and I won't be stressed when (not if) the tiles get all mixed up.

I store all the tiles in baggies that are also marked with the symbol. And that's it, a word work station put together in no time! I personally divide out the colors into separate baggies the day I'm using that word (although I store them all together when I'm not using them) so that I can just hand a student a baggie and they are ready to get started. To make it even easier on yourself, however, you can just hand a student the whole kit and tell them to take out all of the green tiles and pass the bag on to the next person. I love that they're color-coded so they can all be stored together and I don't have to stand there and tell the students, "You each need to pull out an a, an e, an r, and a d".

Oh, and one more thing. I did make myself a cheat sheet so that I could remember which word was in each bag a few months down the road. :)

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