"Singly, the most useful thing I had in my classroom last year"


-1st Grade Teacher, Queensboro, New York

Short "a" File Folder:

  • One file folder
  • Crayons and/or pencils from page 10 in "What's New for Back to School" (WBW 1980)
  • Short a zip strip from page 1 from Phonics Plus #1 (WBW 3150)

  1. Reproduce and cut out the crayons. Glue one of the pictures from the the short a zip strip to each crayon.
  2. Glue the crayon "pockets" to the inside of the file folder as directed in the general directions and laminate. Cut open the pockets.
  3. Laminate the short a zip strip word list then cut the words apart on the solid lines.

Game: The student places the word card into the matching pocket.

Level 1 extension: Write the words in alphabetical order.
Level 2 extension: List the words that end with the letter n. Change the n to another letter to make a new word.
Level 3 extension: Do the same as above with words that end with the letter t.
Level 4 extension: Look at the words. Can you add an e to the end of any of these words to make a new word? Make a list and define or illustrate the new words. What happened to the letter a?


Hard and Soft "g" Haystack:

  • One haystack pattern from pages 87 and 88 in "What's New for Back to School" (WBW 1980)
  • Hard and soft "g" zip strips from pages 41 and 42 from Phonics Plus #1 (WBW 3150)

  1. Reproduce and construct the haystack according to instructions. Cut 2 half circles of paper for the pockets. The paper can be plain, colored or scrapbooking paper (as shown here).
  2. Glue the 2 pockets in place and label 1 "g" as in giraffe and the other pocket "g" as in goat. Laminate and cut open the pockets.
  3. Laminate the zip strip pages. Cut into word/picture cards.

Game: Sort the word/picture cards into the correct pocket.

Level 1 extension: List all the "g" as in goat words in alphabetical order.
Level 2 extension: List all the "g" as in giraffe words in alphabetical order.
Level 3 extension: Underline the letter g and the vowel to the right on both of the lists above. Do you notice a pattern? Can you write a rule to to tell others how to pronounce the letter "g"?


Long and Short "ea" Leaf:

  • One leaf pattern from pages 54 and 55 in "What's New for Back to School (WBW 1980)
  • Short "ea" zip strip from page 15 from Phonics Plus #1 (WBW 3150)
  • Long "ea" zip strip from page 8 from Phonics Plus #2 (WBW 3151)

  1. Reproduce and construct the leaf according to instructions. Cut the words from the zip strips along solid lines.
  2. Glue the words to the leaf so they will make a pocket. Laminate the leaf and the pictures from the zip strips.
  3. Cut open the pockets and cut the pictures apart along solid lines.

Game: Sort the picture cards into the correct word pocket.

Level 1 extension: List all the words in alphabetical order.
Level 2 extension: List the words as nouns or adjectives.
Level 3 extension: Write some sentences using the adjectives on the list to describe the nouns on the list.


"L" Silent "E" Apple:

  • 1 apple pattern from pages 46 and 47 in "What's New For Back To School" (WBW 1980)
  • Page 35 from Zip Strip Phonics Plus #1 (WBW 3100)

  1. Reproduce and construct the apple according to instructions. Cut the words from the zip strips along solid lines.
  2. Glue the words to the apple so they will make a pocket. Laminate the apple and the pictures from the zip strips.
  3. Cut open the pockets and cut the pictures apart along solid lines.

Game: Sort the picture cards into the correct word pocket.

Level 1 extension: List all the words with double consonants in one list and the rest of the words in a second list.
Level 2 extension: Cross out any silent letters in each of the words and mark the vowels as short, long and silent.
Level 3 extension: Break the words into syllables. Can you make a rule for the syllabication of words with doulde consonants?


Double "OO" Sorting Ghost:

  • 1 ghost pattern from pages 88 and 89 in "What's New For October (WBW 1981)
  • Pages 20 and 21 from Zip Strip Phonics Plus #2 (WBW 3101)

  1. Reproduce and construct the ghost according to instructions. Cut 2 paper pockets as shown from colored paper or scrapbooking paper and glue in place. Glue the "boo" word and picture on one pocket and the "foot" word and picture on the other pocket.
  2. Laminate the ghost and the zip strips.
  3. Cut open the pockets and cut the zip strips into word/picture cards along solid lines as shown.

Game: Sort the Word/picture cards into the correct pocket.

Level 1 extension: List the rhyming words together.
Level 2 extension: Can you add rhyming words to each list that are spelled with the double "o"? Can you add rhyming words that are spelled differently?
Level 3 extension: Make each word on the word/picture cards into a plural word. Which words have the same spelling for both singular and plural form.


Vocabulary Schoolhouse:

  • 1 schoolhouse pattern from pages 8 and 9 in "What's New For Back To School (WBW 1980)
  • Pages 22 and 23 from Zip Strip Vocabulary (WBW 3102)

  1. Reproduce and construct the schoolhouse according to instructions. Cut the words from the zip strips along solid lines.
  2. Glue the words to the schoolhouse so they will make a pocket. Laminate the schoolhouse and the pictures from the zip strips.
  3. Cut open the pockets and cut the pictures apart along solid lines.

Game: Sort the picture cards into the correct word pocket.

Level 1 extension: Write the words on a separate piece of paper adding an adjective in front of each word.
Level 2 extension: Add a verb after each word on the list above.
Level 3 extension: Mark the vowels in all the words as long, short, or silent.


Silent Letter Ghost:

  • 1 ghost pattern from pages 86 and 87 in "What's New For October (WBW 1981)
  • Page 34 from Zip Strip Phonics Plus #1 (WBW 3100)

  1. Reproduce and construct the ghost according to instructions. Cut the words from the zip strips along solid lines.
  2. Glue the words to the ghost so they will make a pocket. Laminate the ghost and the pictures from the zip strip.
  3. Cut open the pockets and cut the pictures apart along solid lines.

Game: Sort the picture cards into the correct word pocket.

Level 1 extension: Write the words in alphabetical order.
Level 2 extension: Cross out all silent letters in each of the words.
Level 3 extension: Use the words to make 3 lists: Alist of nouns, a list of verbs and a list of words that can be used as either a noun or a verb.