Fun with -an and -at

One of the reasons I like Word Study so much is that it’s flexible.  In my opinion, it beats doing inflexible workbook pages any day.  See My Top Ten: Word Study (under Literacy Development) for some of the other reasons I like Word Study so much.  Here are some more activities we did with the –an and -at word families.

Just a side note: Word Study is meant to be a piece of the literacy puzzle.  A big portion of the puzzle is real reading with real texts.  One of the ways I help ALuv bridge between the two is when we get to an -at or -an word in our reading, I have him read it or I may just comment, “Hey, that was an -at word!”  I do the same thing with the sight word we’ve learned together.

Re-Matched Words/Pictures

We played a game as a variation of re-matching words and pictures.

I placed all the words and picture cards on our kitchen table .  We took turns.  On his turn, I would put a picture card out, say the name of the object pictured, and he would have to find the matching word.

On my turn, he would put out a picture card, say the object’s name, and I would have to find the matching word.  I would purposely mismatch them sometimes to make sure he was paying attention.

Leap Frog Word Builder

We have several Leap Frog learning toys that I rotate out on a weekly basis.

This is NJoy dancing with his absolute favorite one: Fridge DJ.

One of these is a Leap Frog Magnetic Word Builder.  (Ours is about 2 years old.)  I pulled out the letters a, b, c, f, p, m, n, t, & v.  I showed him pictures from his word/picture sort and he used the magnetic letters to build the words.  The great thing about this toy is that it is self-correcting because it reads the word out loud that the child has spelled.  If it is spelled incorrectly, your child will know.

Four Corners (a variation of a tic-tac-toe game I played when I tutored in reading)

ALuv’s Gameboard                                             The Happy Winner!

Using our dry erase boards and markers, each of us picked four words to write on our boards.  All the words were shuffled and put in a pile facedown.  ALuv and I took turns picking the top word off the deck, reading it, and looking for it on our board.  Whoever crossed off all their words first was the “winner”.

Making Words


  1. Sorted all the –at and –an words:  Notice that the -at and -an chunks are written in a different color than the beginning letters.  This helps to bring attention to the patterns.
  2. Applied Patterns to New Words:

Mama: “If you were spelling a story and wanted to spell the word Dan, would you use the –at chunk or the –an chunk to help you spell it?”  I did this with several more words that we had not studied, yet.  This helps a young reader/speller to see that the patterns they know can apply to other words as well.

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