For most of us working in life skills classrooms, finding engaging and useful ways to practice functional reading, particularly comprehension, can be tough. So, I’ve set out to create a set of tools that allow you to scaffold your instruction of functional sight words commonly encountered by our students in their community. I’m starting with food words. So far we have functional sight word task cards for word identification, BINGO for practicing word recognition, leveled worksheets for practicing basic reading comprehension, and file folders (or task cards) to practice matching written words to pictures.
Today I want to talk about the leveled worksheets and how they can help you reinforce functional reading comprehension of common grocery and restaurant words in your classroom. The 3 levels of the worksheets can be used to differentiate among your students or you can use them as a teaching sequence.
Level 1 Functional Reading Worksheets
In Level 1, the students simply match the sight words to the picture. They use basic matching of word to picture to demonstrate understanding.
These worksheets will work well for practicing a small set of words (only 5 per page) as you are teaching sets of words to the students. You can also use them as a basic level, while using the other levels for students with more advanced skills.
The set includes 20 of these worksheets, all in black and white with clip art pictures for easy copying. The words are written with capitals and in a clear, consistent font.
Level 2 Functional Reading Worksheets
In Level 2, the students move up a step to 10 words on a page. Students need to match or write the word next to the corresponding picture. There are 10 of these worksheets included in the set.
Your students can demonstrate their knowledge in 4 different ways dependent upon the skill of the student and the goals you are addressing.
- Students can cut and paste the words at the bottom to paste in the box next to the word. This eliminates the need to write.
- You can also laminate the sheets and words and add Velcroto the words and the boxes to make a more manipulative (and durable) set of materials for students with difficulty cutting. Students would then match the picture to the word.
- The students could also use the words at the bottom of the page as a word bank and write the words next to the corresponding picture. Obviously page protectors or laminating and using them with dry erase markers would make them more durable in this case.
- Finally, you could cut the word bank off the bottom of the page entirely and have the students write the words next to the pictures without that cue. This strategy would require them to generate the words on their own and would increase the level of difficulty.
Level 3 Functional Reading Worksheets
There are 2 types of worksheets in Level 3. They are designed to mimic two ways that students will often see these words in the community: a grocery list and a restaurant menu. Students must circle the pictures of items on the menu or the list.
There are 12 grocery store worksheets and 10 restaurant worksheets. They are in color and use real photos of foods. Consequently I would usually laminate them and use sheet protectors in order to avoid having to print them repeatedly.
Taking the Next Steps
So these 3 levels of difficulty of practicing functional reading of food sight words are a great way to begin moving to paraprofessional-directed instruction to practice the skills. They also work well to put in independent work systems for students to generalize and maintain the reading skills. Finally they could be used for a morning review or other group activity by putting the worksheets on a projector or document camera and having the students either raise word cards as response cards or calling out the word.
To take the next step from the worksheets, consider using the shopping lists with a mock grocery store or on a community outing to the neighborhood grocery store. You can do the same thing with menus by using printouts or online versions of local take-out menus.
Have the students find the items on the list in the grocery store. Or have them find them online at the grocery store website or find the words on a restaurant menu on a website. Just cut the list out of the worksheets or leave the picture cues there for them. This strategy helps them to integrate their knowledge into everyday life.
And finally, one of the things I love about worksheets is that they eliminate the need for extensive data collection. Just grab a permanent product label (#2), complete it and put it on the back and you have a work product to use for your data collection.
Want to grab these worksheets to use with your students?
Just click the picture to grab them in my store.
Coming up next in this series will be interactive books with the same words to work on using the words in connected text. And I’ll also be developing flash cards and discrete trial materials for explicit instruction as well as other supportive tools.
Until next time,