Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Wide World of Words

by Guest Blogger Rebecca Messmann of

Do you ever wonder how to make words come alive for dyslexic kids? It is so hard when the words just seem to float around in space. Well, there is a nifty way to bring them back down to the ground and tether them in some reality for our kids. My family calls it the Wide World of Words and it is so simple to do.

First, buy a cheap photo album. I buy the ones that are about 4”x8”. Check out your local dollar store for one. Next, charge up the digital camera and give it to your child. Join them in a photo tour of your home, your neighborhood and anywhere else you can think of that is “real” to them. Your ideas for photos will need to be a bit dependent on the age of your child but some ideas would be the mailbox, the flowers, the school, the grocery store, and anything and everything along the way to these places. Let them snap those photos till they are blue in the face.

Come back home, pop the disc in the computer and print those photos out. I just print them out on regular paper, not photo paper. You can usually get about four photos (4”x5”) on and 8 1/2”x11” piece of paper. My sons write down the words on another sheet of paper.

When you file the photo and the word in the album do so with the photo on the left hand side and the word on the right hand side (most of the time their eyes will fall naturally to the right hand page first).

Now, when you study sight words (download a free PDF here!) you have something concrete to use with them and it lots of fun to make!

Another idea I am working on with this concept is directions for my oldest son. He will be walking to school alone next year and is scared he will get lost. I am thinking about taking photos of his way to and from school so he can check to see if he is on the right track.

Be creative and let the world of words open to your child so they are not just these random symbols floating around!

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