Word Detectives

posted in: Reading | 0

This is a quick and simple activity for helping children recognise high frequency words, especially the ones containing graphemes that they haven’t yet learned.

Have the child write the focus word in large font on a blank piece of paper. Preferably this should be colour-coded to highlight the graphemes representing the sounds, other than the basic sounds of the alphabet.

For example:


  • Give each child a magnifying glass, a highlighter and a page from a magazine, newspaper or old book (make sure it contains multiple examples of the focus word).
  • The child scans the page, using the magnifying glass, attempting to find as many examples of the focus word as possible.
  • Each time a focus word is found, it is highlighted.
  • While children are looking for the word, keep repeating the word and the sounds – “Said, /s/-/e/-/d/”.
  • Stop after a designated time – 1 or 2 minutes maximum.

Doing this activity provides multiple exposures to the word, a connection is being made to the sounds in the word and how the sounds are represented and it is fun and easy to implement.

Win! Win! Win!