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Outdoor Sight Word Fun

As promised, this week is all about how to work on sight word recognition outdoors. With many schools in Canada going back to full time, in person school this fall, there is a lot of talk about how we can do more teaching outside to give kids a bit more freedom. This is a great opportunity to participate in a bit more whole body learning.

Benefits of Whole Body Learning

Whole body learning is where the student is engaged physically, mentally and emotionally in the learning task. By getting kids physically moving during a task, it has been shown to improve not only learning, but also behaviour. Research shows that whole body learning is associated with enhanced memory and recall, as well as higher learner motivation. Seems like a no brainer to this teacher!

Bombe à mots

You can either pre-prepare these water balloons (bombe à eau) or have the students help. Students choose one balloon f rom their bin and have to say the word à voix haute as they throw the balloon. In COVID times, it may be easier to give each students their own little bin of balloons to avoid lots of people touching the balloons. To play this game, the expectations must be clear that there is no throwing at friends :p

Ball Throw

While this pic was taken by a student during distance learning inside, this game is super easy to take outside. You can laminate sight word cards in advance or just use post it notes. Students say a word out loud and then throw the ball to try and hit the word. I'm planning to do this on the outside of one of the school walls this fall! I have a bunch of outdoor equipment that I bought for my classroom so I'm planning to give each person in a small group their own ball to keep it physically distanced.


There are so many ways to use hopscotch to practice literacy skills! You can start with small two letter consonant vowel blends and then move to words. This picture is of a challenge one of my students completed where they built a sentence out of sight words while playing hopscotch. Students have to say the word à voix haute as they hop on it. You can also work on contractions in the two box spots. For example, the student hops on je and aime at the same time and then says j'aime. This is an easy and active way to practice sight words outdoors in a physically distanced way!

Sight Word Scavenger Hunt

Hide laminated sight word cards around the school yard and send students out with their own clipboard/paper or whiteboard. Students write down the words they find. As a challenge, they can then try to write a sentence using some of the words!

Saute grenouille saute!

Students pretend to be hungry frogs and jump from lily pad to lily pad trying to catch flies for dinner! To jump onto a lily pad, students have to say the word out loud. You could also have a few students call out a word for the frog and then the

frog/student has to find the word and jump onto it. Another great physically distanced way for students to still work in groups!

Sight Word Soccer

Set up some sight words on pilons or cones. Students use a soccer ball and control the ball around the cones. As they dribble around the cone, they say the word on the cone aloud. Once they get zig zag through the cones, they take a shot into the net or against a wall depending on where you're set up!

To sum it up...

Let's get outside and get moving! Whole body, active learning can help students recall these words when they need them in the future and help write the words to long term memory.

Stay tuned...

Next week, I'll be talking about how I'm planning to modify my literacy centers based on COVID health and safety restrictions. This has been a big one for my brain to figure out this summer, so hopefully some of my ideas will help you figure out your plan as well!

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