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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
Keeping your students on track and engaged in those final weeks is tough! Complete your summer lesson plan with this kindergarten literacy center where your students will be decoding secret code words from an exciting summer vocabulary list. As summer draws closer, you can almost feel the energy start to rise in your kindergarten classroom. Not only does the warm weather mean more time outside, it also means the end of the year and the promise of the long vacation months. These secret code words will give you plenty to talk about as you bring their kindergarten year to a successful end.
Practicing Letter Sounds
Even though the school year is coming to an end, you will want each summer lesson plan to help your students practice and rehearse all the essential skills that they will need to be fully successful in first grade. These summer themed secret code words help students practice three different skills all at once. Firstly, they need to say the name of each of the black and white pictures and figure out the starting letter sound. Secondly, they then need to say the name of the picture using the letters that they’ve just heard. Finally, they get some much needed letter formation practice as they write out the words from the summer vocabulary list.
Preparing Summer Secret Code Words
Extension Secret Code Word Activities
Your students will quickly master these secret code words, but they’ll still want the excitement of the puzzle and the satisfaction of completing your challenge. You can extend their letter sound word with some of these activities at your summer kindergarten literacy center:
Sound out with a partner – any time that you can turn your stations into games, you’ll automatically build the engagement with your students. To make these secret code words into a game, have one person say the names of the black and white pictures out loud (e.g. clock rocket apple ball) without showing the color picture to their partner. Their partner has to listen carefully and write down the word that they think was being spelled. The players can then share their answers and give each other a high five for a job well done.
Create their own secret code – in the kindergarten classroom, mastery can always be demonstrated by having students make their own versions of a worksheet. In this case, you can brainstorm another summer vocabulary list and have students create their own code. They can change the code pictures (as long as the word has the correct starting sound!) to something more personal to them.
Make it a treasure hunt – finally, you can make it into a movement break by creating a treasure hunt. Just cut up the cards, and put the colored pictures around the room. On the flipside of each picture, put the next black and white code. For some extra fun, make it so that the final clue has some sort of classroom treasure to reward them for their hard letter sound work!