Make Take & Teach | instructional materials for small group intervention

10 Engaging Activities for Teaching Homophones


Teaching and learning homophones can be tons of fun!  Many reading programs introduce the concept of homophones in second grade.  Homophones are words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have a different meaning.  Students need to be able to tell the difference in the meanings of these words and to use the correct spelling in their writing.  If students misspell words or use the wrong word in writing, the reader is not likely to understand what they are trying to say.

Of course, using hands-on activities to teach any skill is preferable to worksheet drill and practice.  The Make, Take & Teach Complete Activity Pack for Teaching Homophones includes 10 engaging activities for teaching 65 common homophones.  My favorite activity this pack is the Homophone Pear Matching activity.  There are 72 homophone pairs of pears!  Of course you’d want to differentiate this activity by choosing which and how many pears to use during small group instruction or within your literacy centers.


Homophone posters and teaching cards are provided for direct instruction. You may also wish to place several posters around the classroom while teaching this skill.

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Activities such as the Homophone Vocabulary Puzzles,  4- In- A- Row, game boards, memory and I Have- Who Has are ideal for added practice during independent literacy centers.


This his activity pack is available in my online Teachers Pay Teachers store. It is also available on the Make, Take & Teach website.

 Have fun teaching those homophones!



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Build It-Write It for CVC Words

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You may know by now that I’m all about those cookie sheets.  I love activities that use cookie sheets as manipulating magnetic letters provides for great hands-on learning activities and the cookie sheet keeps all the materials in one area!  The Build It-Write It activity for CVC words is perfect for either small group instruction or for independent literacy centers.  When you download this activity you will receive 14 colorful CVC templates.  There are templates for working with a specific vowel and also templates with mixed vowels.  This makes differentiation a snap!


The Build It Write It activity for Consonant Vowel Consonant Words is available through my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Call me a bit crazy, but I like my cookie sheets to match the templates.  I live for color-coding!


If you’d like to add a little color into your cookie sheet activities, these painted cookie sheets area available through the Make, Take & Teach website.


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Just Another Fun Find at Walmart


You gotta know I love my local Walmart.  I always seem to stumble upon something a little unique that’s perfect for creating an activity.  Well, my newest find are these dry erase sticky circles from Elmer’s.  They were in the sale basket too!


So what can you do with these sticky circles?  They are perfect for sound sorting!  I simply placed a sticky circle on a cup and wrote a letter on the circle.  You can change the letter/sound matching activity by simply erasing the letter and writing another. So simple.


I’m sure there are many uses for these dry erase circles.  If you’d like to use the circles for sound sorting, these pics are just one activity contained in the Response to Intervention Alphabetic Principle Kit.



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Alphabet Cupcakes

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It’s always important to incorporate hands-on activities into learning letters and sounds.  Our little preschoolers and kindergarteners really enjoy matching activities.  Matching activities are great for independent centers or as an activity for direct instruction.  These activities can be easily differentiated as you can choose how many and which cupcakes to use.  Simply  place the cupcake tops and bottoms on the table and have your student(s) match the beginning sound of the picture to the lowercase letter.  An upper- to lowercase matching activity is also included in the downloadable file.


I like to store my activities in baggies.  A label for each activity is included.




 The Alphabet Cupcake activity is available through my online Teachers Pay Teachers store or through the Make, Take & Teach website.



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3 Freebies for Teaching and Practicing Short Vowels and CVC Words

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Here are a few of my favorite activities for introducing and teaching short vowel sounds and CVC words.  There’s a little bit of assembly involved for each activity, but you’re done, you’ll have three activities that will last for years!  Enjoy!

1. Vowel Sticks

Those short vowel sounds can be so tricky!  It’s so important that our kiddos learn to hear the differences between the short vowel sounds so that they can decode and write words correctly.  These vowel sticks are quite helpful in teaching students discriminate the sounds.  You can easily differentiate the activity by choosing which and how many vowels to use during your lesson.  For students who are having a great deal of difficulty with vowels, I recommend starting with only 2 vowels with very dissimilar sounds (e.g. “a” and “o”).  You can then increase the difficulty by adding more sounds and similar sounding vowels (e.g. “a” and “e”).   For those students who are quickly learning this skill, try providing words (e.g. “cat”, “beg”) and have them hold up the correct vowel.


 Just click HERE to download the printable for creating your own vowel sticks.  The directions for assembling the activity as well as using the activity during instruction are included in the file.


2. Word Family Sliders

Word sliders are often helpful when introducing word families.  When you download this file you’ll receive the printable for creating 18 word family sliders. You could print the activity on card stock and call it good, but if you’d like to add a little color and durability to your activity print the word family cards on a full size Avery label and adhere them to Glidden paint samples (Home Depot).  I color-coded the borders of the word family cards to the paint samples and the letter sliders are also color-coordinated so that the students can easily match them to the card.


 Just click HERE to download the printable for creating your own word slides.


 3. Build It- Write It Cards

The Build It-Write It cards are great for your independent centers.  To create this activity you will need counting tiles, adhesive chalkboard paper and liquid chalk.  You could substitute adhesive dry erase paper and a dry erase marker for the chalkboard paper/liquid chalk.  For specific directions for assembling this activity, visit the Build It-Write It for CVC and CCVC Words.


Just click HERE to download the printable for creating the Build-It Write-It deck

 Enjoy these freebies!


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Hands-on Activities for Teaching Contractions

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Last year I created the original File Folder Phonics activities and they fast became a favorite for introducing and practicing phonics concepts.  They are great for independent centers as well as first introducing the concept during small group instruction.  Since creating the initial file folder activities bundle, I’ve been receiving request after request for additional activities.  Two of my new favorite file folder activities are the ones that introduce the concept of contractions.  This is a skill that is typically introduced mid-first grade; however, I find that many second graders could use added practice.   As with all the file folder activities, an explanation of the concept or a statement of the rule is included as well as a hands-on activity for learning the concept.

The first file folder activity for contractions includes 20 colorful dog dishes (some on the back too) with coordinating dog bones.  Students simply match the dog bone to the dish.  This activity is ideal when first introducing the concept of contractions.



 The File Folder Phonics- Contractions #1 can be found in my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.

The second file folder activity is an extension of the first.  For this activity, students write the contraction on the dog bone.  When the student is finished with the activity, simply wipe the file folder clean and the activity is ready for use again!



The File Folder Phonics- Contractions #2 can be found in my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.

These activities are two of 13 file folder phonics activities contained in the Even More! File Folder Phonics.  Activities contained in this bundle include activities targeted at the following skills: contractions, FLOSS rule, doubling rule, past tense -ed, -s/-ing endings, plurals and more!

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Dry Erase Pocket Phonics

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I just love working with dry erase pockets.  They’re great for small group instruction as phonics pages can slide right inside and then later erased so that they can be used over and over again.  Last year I was able to pick up quite a few dry erase pockets at Walmart during the back to school sale and I have been using them ever since.   I created these dry erase pocket activities for working with short vowel sounds and dry erase pockets.  There are 17 differentiated templates.  They’ve been great for our little learners.

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The Dry Erase Pockets Phonics Activities for Short Vowels/CVC Words can be found in my online Teachers Pay Teachers store or on the Make, Take & Teach website. 

Here’s a link to purchasing the dry erase pockets in bulk as they are not always available in larger department stores.

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Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale!



It’s finally announced!  The Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale is this Monday and Tuesday.  Be sure to mark your calendar as August 4th and 5th will be the biggest sale of the year.  It’s a great time to stock up on all those items that have been sitting in your wish list folder now for awhile.  All Make, Take & Teach items will be 28% off during the sale!  It’s a great time to purchase bundled products.  Here are a few ideas:

Of course the Cookie Sheet Activities are super popular.   These activities are great for independent centers.  The Cookie Sheet Activities- Pre K-K Bundle and The Cookie Sheet Activities First Grade Bundle are available in my TpT store.


The File Folder Activities have been flying off the shelf lately. They are great hands-on activities for learning phonics skills.  The File Folder Phonics for learning the alphabet contains 26 folder activities with a multi-sensory activity, sound sorting and letter formation practice activity.   For more advanced phonics skills, check out the original File Folder Phonics Bundle which contains activities for digraphs, blends, vowel teams and more!

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The activity packs were one of the first products I created.  When you download an activity pack you’ll receive a teaching manual along with 10 hands-on activities for teaching the phonemic awareness or phonics concept.  There are 5 activity packs:  Response to Intervention:  Phonemic Awareness Activity Pack, Response to Intervention: Alphabetic Principle, Response to Intervention: Short Vowels/CVC, Response to Intervention: Blends and Digraphs, and Response to Intervention: Magic e.

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My big summer project was creating The Big Box of Phonemic Awareness Activities and The Big Box of Phonics Activities.  Each file contains over 500 colorful pictures for teaching various phonemic and phonics concepts.  The cards fit nicely in a bead tote found at Michael’s Craft Store.  Activity and common core alignment cards are included.

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Phew!  Be sure to visit Teachers Pay Teachers during this two day sales event.  It’s a great time to find fun fonts and digital paper too!  Enjoy the sale!



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