Mystery Word is a fun and engaging way to practice different spelling patterns.  Best part? It is quick to prep and play!

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Version 1 (with parent help)

Here is how to play:

  1.  Choose a word.
  2. Write letters for the word on a strip of paper.  Cut out the letters.  DSC04707
  3. Make a list of all the words you can make with that word (Download my freebie below with some ideas to get you started!).
  4. Have your child build the words using the letters.  You could have them record the words on paper or a whiteboard for extra practice.  Try using fun writing tools (colored pens, highlighters, etc.) to make it a little more engaging.
    • Use directions like:
      • Use three letters to spell the word “lap”
      • Change one letter to spell the word “nap”
      • Change one letter to spell the word “rap”
      • Change one letter to spell the word “rip”
      • Change one letter to spell the word “lip”
      • Now, make a new word.  Use 3 letters to spell the word “ran”
      • Change one letter to spell the word “pan”
      • Now add one letter to spell the word “plan”
  5. When they have built all the words, see if they can guess the mystery word that all the letters spell.
    • Start with clues like:
      • It starts with an A.
      • It rhymes with main.
      • It has two syllables.
    • Then use clues like:
      • You can ride in it.
      • It is very large and loud.
      • It flies in the sky.
  6. Once your child has guessed the word, see if they can spell it.  Slowly stretch out the sounds, or refer to some of the little words you made earlier in the activity.

Version 2 (Independent)

Here is how to play:

  1.  Choose a word.
  2. Write letters for the word on a strip of paper.  Cut out the letters.
  3. Have your child build as many words as they can with the letters provided.
  4. They can record the words they build on a piece of paper or whiteboard.  You could also ask them to type the words.  It is great to give kids as many opportunities to practice typing as possible, since we live in a digital world.  DSC04710

This activity is a great way to practice spelling patterns and to play with words.  Kids love guessing the mystery word at the end of the activity.  It is based on the spelling strategy and book, Making Words, by Patricia Cunningham.

Click on the link below to download this freebie with a recording sheet and 6 word lists to get you started.  MysteryWordFreebie

Hope it is a fun way to practice spelling at home! Have fun!

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