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  • Same or Different? A Look-Alike Game

    Playful Learning: Same or Different? A Look-Alike Game

    I am happy to have Malia from Playdough to Plato here with us today to share one of her many wonderful activities for teaching children how to read. Learning to read can be a magical time filled with lots of fun learning experiences. Malia has a knack for bringing this process to life for both parents and children.

    I love teaching children how to read. Seeing their eyes light up when they finally conquer letter sounds. Watching them proudly read their very first word.  The process is nothing short of a miracle.

    So it’s no surprise that discovering fun, hands-on games for early readers is an entertaining pastime of mine. The game “Same & Different” is one of my favorite activities from Peggy Kaye’s book Games for Reading.  It helps children notice small differences between look-alike words including went-want, pat-pit, where-there.

    To play, gather a stack of blank index cards, a ruler and a marker.  Draw a straight line down the middle of each card.  Then write one set of letters or numbers on the left side and one on the right (see above).

    Some of the pairs will be the same like this one…

    Playful Learning: Same or Different? A Look-Alike Game

    And some will be different…

    Playful Learning: Same or Different? A Look-Alike Game

    Include combinations of two, three, four and five letters/numbers to vary the difficulty.

    Now comes the fun!

    Place the cards in a stack, face down and invite your child to sit across from you.  Show her the first card in the stack for one or two seconds. Turn the card upside down again and ask if the letters/numbers were the same or different.  (The name of the game is really perfect, isn’t it?!)  After your child shares her answer, flip the card over so that she can check it.  If her answer was right, place it in a pile for correct answers.  If she was wrong, place it on the bottom of the game cards so that she can try again later.

    Went and want, felt and left, BEWARE! This game will have your child reading tricky look-alike words in a snap.

    Malia

    Malia Hollowell is a National Board Certified elementary teacher and the blogger behind Playdough to Plato, a site dedicated to helping parents teach their children to read and write in 20 fun-filled minutes a day.

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    1. I love this idea! I’m wondering what age it would be good for – I have a little guy who will be 4 in a few months, and we are mostly taking the unschooling approach. He has learned most of his letters and lower numbers, but I don’t want to push him to do more before he’s ready. Would this game be more for older kids?

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