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How to Be a Word Archeologist

By: Marisa Delhay

Sensory/Motor + Reading = Deeper Learning

Adding a sensory-motor component to any type of learning not only makes the task more fun for the student, but research shows that including these elements in your lessons can also help to build connections between the different parts of the brain. Activating these connections during learning leads to deeper understanding and retention of the information!

Read about the anatomy of the brain in this article from Johns Hopkins to learn more about the functions of the different lobes of the brain and how activating these different areas can build neurological connections!

When my son was in kindergarten and working on simple C-V-C (consonant-vowel-consonant) words we set up this "Word Archeology" sensory tray to practice reading these words!

Check out the easy set up and make sure to see below for suggestions about how to modify this for additional literacy lessons:

Modify in a variety of ways:

  • letter identification: write all the letters of the alphabet (or whichever ones you happen to be working on) on the list and then again on the cardboard that goes under the rice)

  • upper vs. lowercase letters: write the lowercase letters on the list and uppercase letters on the cardboard that goes under the rice so the child can work on connecting upper and lowercase letters

  • rhyming: make a list of words the child is able to read independently, then write one word that rhymes with each of those words on the cardboard that goes under the rice

  • beginning sounds: make a list of words that all begin with a different letter sound then write words on the carboard that goes under the rice (you could also do middle or ending sounds!)

Leave us a comment below to let us know which skill you'll practice with an archeology inspired sensory tray!

And remember- if you'd like to rent a whole tote full of play-based activities like this that are already prepared for you, contact your local Teaching Tote specialist! Find your specialist RIGHT HERE:

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Mar 30, 2023
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