Language Experience and Fun for Teaching Reading

My granddaughter is coming TODAY at 5:00 p.m.. I am about to begin the journey of language experience and fun for teaching reading, with HER!

Boxes of resources and files simply LITTER my house. Housework is daunting, but granddaughter comes first, and is my DELIGHT! Emphasis on our learning adventure together must be on FUN.

Now there is nothing much well planned in this, contrary to my wishes or fairy-tale dreams. I closed down my classroom at public school, and keys turned in day before yesterday, following my letter of resignation a few months prior. After first starting teaching 30 years ago, I am retired.

This is my plan:

  1. Show and tell between her and I of what she already knows. She has attended private school and learned to name her alphabet, give sounds for each letter, and MOTIONS. She will show me what she knows, and I will show her what I know. Her mother gave me permission to video and photograph, so I will share some here! More about kinesthetic motions for letters, will be linked here>>(coming soon)
  2. Language experience and fun for teaching reading, will be heavily employed here: **Operation Kitty-Cat is about to begin!**
  3. Art projects will be used for phonics anchors, brain breaks, and all that art builds into a child (skills, self awareness, pleasure of creating…) Updates on this, coming soon >>
  4. We will read lots of books, and in those books, I will point out some basic sight words over and over, maybe even highlighting them, as well as point out highly phonemic words with the consonant vowel consonant pattern like: cat, dog, hat, frog, run, hop….
  5. Practice of correct handwriting STROKES: ~top to bottom ~ letter C beginning at the top and going a little up and around to the left , then ~ b,h,r,m,n,p (formed the right way) and then c,d,a,g,q (formed the right way), and later, all of the capital and lower case letters.

More about handwriting, >>reduce b/d confusion here


Language Experience for fun Teaching Reading: Operation Kitty Cat

My husband brought a kitten home from his place of work. Kitty needed a home. We seem to be it. My granddaughter is going to love her! She will participate in feeding her, petting her, cuddling her. She will hear Squeaker purr loudly and Squeaker is sure to make her laugh. We will make Squeaker toys, and play with Squeaker.

These words will be use to write and teach as I document our experiences with Squeaker. Thus the term language experience. It is a strategy that promotes student interest and therefore can facilitate participation and achievement.

When we make Squeaker a toy, my sunshine (granddaughter) will learn the word “toy.” Toy will be our reference word for the phonics chunk “oy.” “Oy” says /oy/ like in the word toy! You could call “toy” our phonics anchor for the “oy” spelling/sound.


Our language experience for fun teaching reading, may look something like this:

This may be the words/sentences that we write together and practice reading with, according to “language experience,” reading instructional strategy. It is all about using a child’s everyday experiences and oral language to teach reading and writing.


I have a kitty cat at my Grannie and Grandpa’s house. Her name is squeaker. She is very small, and she is gray.

I made Squeaker a toy.

She likes to play with her toy. I feed her, and pet her. She purrs loudly.

I like to hold her. I am happy every time I get to see Squeaker.

Granddaughter with kitten, will be used to teach reading through language experience and fun for teaching reading

What can we get out of that language experience and fun for teaching reading?

Look at the sight words we have right there: I, like, her, and, to, see, with, is, at, my…

Also I have an automatic phonics reference point with:

“Like,” and “time” are words that demonstrate the vowel consonant “sneakey e” concept which is where (as we say) the sneakey-e sneaks around, scares the vowel and makes it say its name.

The words “house,” and “loudly” can be a reference words for “ou” that says /oi/.

“Kitty”, “very,” “loudly,” and “happy,” all can be used as reference words for the “y” at the end of a word that often says the long e sound, also like in the word “candy.”


Learning to read is a process. Teaching reading is a process. Language experience for fun teaching reading can add to the pleasure for all. Child directed, shared language, shared experiences, feeds well into the “interest led learning,” that this brilliant homeschool mom references to at her blog, Curiosity Encouraged. I will keep ya’ll informed, and share here as we travel this homeschool reading journey together.

One comment

  1. […] Another activity that kids often enjoy is called “language experience.” It is the use of language specifically for them. Sentences telling about them, their experiences, their stories, their words, written down for them to practice reading with, is “language experience,” in action. Here is a post about me doing just this, with my granddaughter >> language experience about a kitty cat. […]

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