Ghost Letters

Silent letters can be a tricky thing to teach and tricky for our young students to learn.  That's why I like to save them for Halloween week.  Ghost, or silent, letters are perfect for this spooky holiday!  I always build it up that I am about to teach them something that's really scary.  You can even turn out the lights and break out the flashlight to get them totally engaged.  You can just see the anticipation on their faces!  We talk about ghosts and what they think ghosts are like and what they do.  Last year, I even had a student get up and tell a ghost story!  {Whatever works!}  That's when I introduce ghost letters.  

One fun activity we do is to go on a Ghost Letter Hunt.  You will need some small white paper bags for this activity to make the ghosts into puppets. 

When we do go on a word hunt, I allow students to look anywhere around the room.  That includes in books.  For this hunt, Halloween books are perfect!  You may even wish to use your anchor text for the week.  After students make the fun ghost puppets, they can record the words they find on their puppet.  Because there are so many ghost letter combinations, I give each student only one to look for during the hunt.  Looking for all five different types could get very overwhelming.  Ghost letters can be difficult to find, so students will really have to dig!  Students will love flying their ghost puppets around when they are finished!  The craftivity can be found {HERE}.

I have kept the same word work rotations for years.  I incorporate them into centers, as well as into quick whole group activities.  BINGO can be played during either time.  I usually did BINGO whole group.  Students write their words for the week on a blank BINGO board in any order.  I like to change out the BINGO chips seasonally.  Target had so many cute Halloween erasers this year, and these ghosts were perfect for ghost letters!

Is this tiny cauldron not the cutest?!  They are perfect for holding our BINGO chips!  I found them at Hobby Lobby and wanted to buy all they had but I had to restrain myself.  

I don't know why, but this has always been my students' favorite game.  We do it EVERY.SINGLE.WEEK.  And it never gets them.  Lol.  It's just a simple board game with words from our word study for the week.  The game pieces are erasers from Target.

I always try to throw in syllables during word work.  Just to keep with the Halloween spirit, I added the headers to these party favor bags from Hobby Lobby.  I always buy these on clearance after Halloween to use the following year for sorts.

With most centers, I try to include a recording sheet for them to practice writing the words.  I typically put them in a SmartPal to save on copies.

Students will need lots of support with those pesky ghost letters, so I keep these posters up during our study.  We refer to them LOTS!!!

Word sorts are critical to word study.  We do so many sorts!  I am very picky about how my students do them, too.  I teach the routine a lot at the beginning of the year, so it becomes very natural to them.  They have to read the words and the headers aloud every time.  Again, I have them practice writing the words after the sort.  I have included some odd ball high frequency words in the sorts, as well.  You can find blank cards also so that you can add your own words to the sort.

I have had the same word work routine for years because it works for me.  Our word study skills on our end of year assessments are always really good, so I am a believer in these activities!  Plus, the students have fun learning our new words and spelling patterns each week!  I also include some whole group printables, push and say letters {SO IMPORTANT to use}, ABC order center, rhyming center, and much more!  

I hope you have as much fun teaching ghost letters as I do!  What strategies do you use to teach this tricky spelling pattern?  This pack is on sale this weekend, so be sure to check it out by clicking the pic below!

Have a great weekend!

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