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Teaching Boys to Read and Spell | Kinesthetic Learning Game

Kinesthetic learning is learning that takes place when a student carries out physical activities. This type of learning is a great fit for boys because their cerebral cortex is defined for spatial relationships, which means they learn best through movement and visual experience.

During my experience teaching boys, I’ve quickly realized that lecturing and writing sentences on the whiteboard were not going to maximize their learning potential. They either zoned out or starting fidgeting and playing with the nearest object. So, in an effort to incorporate kinesthetic learning into our homeschool classroom, I’ve come up with a fun activity to help foster a love for reading and spelling. They loved it! I’m sure girls will love it, too!

The Alphabet Mat Word Family Game

Things you’ll need: 

1. Alphabet puzzle mat (you may need more than one puzzle if you plan to practice double vowel phonograms like “eed”).

2. 37 Index cards

3. Clear packaging tape/ Laminator

4. Elmer’s glue

5. Scissors

7. Students!

Let’s get started!
*Note: Your students may love to help with these steps!

Step 1. Download and print this 37 common phonograms list.

Step 2. Using scissors, cut out all 37 phonograms.

Step 3. Count out 37 index cards and use Elmer’s glue to paste the phonograms on the middle of each card.

Step 4. Laminate the index cards. You can use clear packaging tape or a laminator if you have one. When the index cards are laminated, the student can write on them with a dry-erase marker and wipe them off.

How to play the game

Step 1:    Have the student place the pieces of the alphabet mat into alphabetical order.

Step 2:    Ask the student to pick out a phonogram index card from the pile.

Step 3:    Ask the student to recite the phonogram.

Step 4:    Ask the student to spell out the phonogram using the alphabet mat pieces.

Step 5:    Ask the student what word they can make using that phonogram.

Step 6:    Write the word on the whiteboard or index card for visual representation.

Step 7:   Ask the student to spell out the word on the floor using the alphabet mat pieces.

Step 8:    Have the student spell the word aloud by jumping onto each letter. (Let them shout it out!)

Step 9:    Repeat the fun and create other word families.


•    Ask the student what types of silly sentences they can make up using those words.

•    Write the sentences on the whiteboard for visual representation.

•    If you have more than one student, a friendly competition is always fun. See who can spell their word the fastest!

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