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Sight words, Dolch words, Outlaw words; whatever you want to call them they are all pretty much the same thing, high frequency words in the English language that may, or may not adhere to phonetic rules. “The” is the perfect example.
I remember reading a loooooooong time ago in The Gift of Dyslexia, Revised and Expanded: Why Some of the Smartest People Can’t Read…and How They Can Learn, that building words like “the” out of play-dough was a great way to master them. At the time I read this, I thought “If this works for children with learning disabilities, why doesn’t everyone do it? It sounds like a great idea!”
So yesterday, my four-year-old daughter Jenna gave this idea a try building the word “the” out of beans.
(Unfortunately, I have an unexplained horrible aversion to play-dough, even the homemade stuff. The smell makes me want to throw up.)
An added bonus to building “the” out of beans is that it is a fabulous fine motor activity. Squeezing the bottle and picking up beans works the same muscles needed for good handwriting.
The downside? Beans all over the kitchen floor. You have been warned! 😉