Teaching Young Learners to Cross Check Using Guess the Covered Word
- Similar to cloze passages, developed by Patricia Cunningham and Dorothy Hall as part of their Four Blocks method of instruction.
- Helps students develop the ability to think about what makes sense while also thinking about the letters and sounds of a word.
- Teaches students to guess a difficult word based on meaning, letters, and word length.
Guess the Covered Word
Prepare: Write sentences on sentence strips. Choose a word for the students to guess in each sentence. Cover all the letters up to the first vowel with a sticky note. (Cut the sticky note to the exact shape and size of the letters.) Cover the rest of the word with another sticky note.
- Read the sentences together. Allow students to guess the covered word. Write down all guesses that make sense. If a guess doesn’t make sense explain why and do not write it down.
- Once you have several guesses, remove the sticky note at the beginning of the word. Talk about the guesses and eliminate any that do not begin with that letter(s).
- Ask students if they can think of any more guesses that make sense, are about the length of the word and start with the same letters.
- Uncover the word and see if any of the guesses were correct.
- In first grade (or when beginning this with a new group of students), use words that have only one letter before the vowel. Words can get progressively more difficult.
- This activity can also be used with a text or story you are using in class, or with a big book.
- Use student’s names and interests when you are creating your own Guess the Covered Word sentences.
Month-by-Month Phonics (available for 1st, 2nd , 3rd, and upper grades), Patricia Cunningham & Dorothy Hall.
Guess the Covered Word for First Grade (available through 5th grade), Joyce Kohfeldt, Annie King & Helen Collier.
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