How Many Words in a Word?

Scripture: Exodus 17

Learning Objectives:

  • Students review the story of Moses raising his hands so that God would bring victory to the Israelites over the Amalekites.
  • Students will learn how to look for small words in large words to help them sound out words.
  • Students will analyze big words like a puzzle to see how many other words they can make out of the letters.

Guiding Question: How can we make big words easier to read by finding smaller word segments within them?

Materials: cards to write on, write words in your language which contain other words (Big words: basketball, snowman, information, homework, important, today, etc. Small words that have smaller words in them: small, for, jam, etc.)

Procedure: Review Israel’s victory over the Amalekites focusing on how the Amalekites were a very strong and intimidating army, but God led them to victory through faith. Tell students that reading large words can seem very challenging, but there are tricks to make it easier. Explain that sometimes small, easy words are hiding in big words. If you can read small words, it can help you with the big word. Analyze the word, “Amalekites” as a group. Read it aloud to students and ask them what other words it sounds like. Show students that there are other words hiding in it. The following words are in it: a, am, male, kite, kites, it. By “chunking” the word, you can sound it out to read it. Do other examples as a group. Then make it a game.

Give students a long or short word (depending on their ability level). Students then race to see who can find the most words within the given word. Time them for one minute. The student who finds the most words wins that round. Extend the game by having students see how many words they can make out of using the scrambled letters in the given word (regardless of the order). Students can even try to see how many words they can make out of their own names.

Additional Questions:

  • What big words can you think of that are made of small words? (compound words are a good place to start)

Supplemental Activity: When students read a story, have them copy down words that seem challenging in a journal. Have them try this activity with the words they find.

Written by: Savannah Negas