5 Ways to Play and Learn with Sentence Building Dominoes

Shared from Our Friends at Educational Insights
May 16, 2024 by
5 Ways to Play and Learn with Sentence Building Dominoes
School Aids, Inc, Elaine Swart

If you only pick up one item for back-to-school, grab the Sentence Building Dominoes from Educational Insights! These Sentence Building Dominoes are super versatile and can be used by kids no matter where they are in their journey learning to read.

These are a must-have for families with kids learning to read and for any elementary teacher from kindergarten through third grade.

Read on for 5 simple, FUN ideas to learn with Sentence Building Dominoes! These tactile learning activities are organized from the most basic to the most advanced. And don’t miss the free Sentence Building Dominoes downloadable activities available on the Educational Insights website!

Count the words: Practice 1:1 correspondence!

Did you know being able to count the words in a sentence is an important part of learning to read?! Yep! Words make sentences, and sentences make words. Kids need to understand this and learn each printed word is one spoken word – this is one-to-one correspondence!

Build a simple sentence and invite the child to count the words. (For example, “I like the cookie.”) Then swap out one word in the sentence and count again! (“I like the book.” Or, “I like the school.”) Have the child touch each domino as they count.

This is a fabulous support for a child struggling with 1:1 correspondence, because it makes the learning tactile for them. Also, the dominoes are different colors. Visually, this helps the child see each of the separate words as they develop their understanding that each printed word is one spoken word.

Pick, read, and write: CVC words!

Choose several CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) word dominoes, and place them in a bin of rice (or just an empty bowl). The sentence building dominoes include lots of CVC words like cat, bus, big, dad, ran, but, men, and many more!

Invite the child to choose a word, read it, and then write it. You can even add kids’ tweezers for pulling out the dominoes – this makes for added fun and fine motor practice!

CVC words are the perfect place to start with a beginning reader who is starting to blend letter sounds to make words. If a child knows all of their letters and letter sounds, support them as they begin to explore how these sounds are put together to make words!

Need a modification? If the child is just starting to blend letters to make words, start with words that all have the same middle vowel. For example, use the ran, cat, and dad dominoes. Distinguishing middle vowel sounds is tricky for beginning readers, so focusing on 1-2 at a time can be helpful to scaffold learning.

W​ord families!

Ready for more of a challenge? Try using the dominoes to practice word families (words that rhyme and are spelled with the same ending).

Pull out dominoes for word families you’d like the child to practice (you may want to target word families that end in -ear, -ice, -est, or another phonics pattern that is tricky for the child). Next, invite the child to pull a domino from that pile and write 3-4 words that are in that same word family! For example, if they pull the “best” domino, then they may write: rest, pest, vest. These are all words that end in -est.

Recognizing common word families is a powerful strategy for beginning readers to decode words more easily. This helps kids with chunking! If they can spot a word family they know when reading, it makes blending the beginning sound and the ending chunk quick and easy!

Sentence Building!

Offer your child a pile of dominoes, and invite them to build sentences!

Add an element of competition to increase the fun! How many sentences can you build? Who can build the silliest sentence? Or make it a game by taking turns picking dominoes from the pile – who will be the first to have enough words to build a sentence?

Want to add a writing component? Build sentences for each other and take turns writing them! This is a wonderful way to incorporate both reading and writing in a fun way!

Sorting: parts of speech!

These dominoes include color coded verbs, nouns, adjectives, and more. If your child is learning the part of speech, invite them to sort a pile of words into nouns and adjectives!

No matter where your child is in their journey learning to read, the Sentence Building Dominoes can meet your child where they are to build on their skills! This supply is perfect for back-to-school!

About the Author

Beth Ann Tieche is an elementary principal turned stay at home mom of twins plus one! She helps parents have more joy and less stress with spirited kids. Her content revolves around doable ideas for art, hands-on learning, and family fun!

5 Ways to Play and Learn with Sentence Building Dominoes
School Aids, Inc, Elaine Swart May 16, 2024
Share this post