Reading Lesson Plan: High Five Blend and Word Family Game

This game will take time to build. As you learn blends and word families, the letter groupings will be added to the shower curtain, one on each hand print. Game can be played after Blends have been learned, then add Word Families, or any order.  It’s a great review.


  1. Review of blends  (examples: cl, gl, bl, sl, fl, ///dr, br, fr, tr, cr,///sk, sc, st, sn, sp…),
    and word families (examples: ice, ide, ay, ake, ash, at, an, ap,  eep, et, ell, est, ill, ack, in, ick, ing, ink, ine, ight…)


  1. old shower curtain
  2. permanent marker
  3. beanbag
  4. glove (rubber, latex, gardening)
  5. masking tape


  1. Trace hand prints (use glove) randomly all over an old shower curtain.  As you learn a new blend, place it in one of the hand prints.  When there are enough to play a game, show the students how it is played.  You can add more hand prints later as other sounds are added.  Two great books for word families are “Word Family Mini-Storybooks” by Laura Johnsrud and “70 Wonderful Word Family Poems” by Jennifer Wilen.  (***To reuse this game next year, use tape to cover up blends and word families not yet taught.  You can temporarily print duplicates on the tape of the ones just learned, until space is needed for the new blends and families.)
  2. Shower curtain is spread out in an area away from other students.  Player GENTLY tosses a beanbag onto the shower curtain.  When he hits a labelled hand print, student says the sound, says a word using the sound, and makes a sentence using the word.  Correctly done, and the student gets a High Five from the other players.
  3. If the beanbag goes off the shower curtain three times, you lose a turn.

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