Nonsense Words

Scripture: Daniel 5

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn God expects everyone on earth to worship and obey Him.
  • Students will learn God will not allow other gods or religions to replace what He has given us.
  • Students will learn God sometimes gives earthly consequences for rejecting Him.
  • Students will learn how to decode nonsense words.

Guiding Question: How can phonics rules be used to decode nonsense words?

Materials: Whiteboards, markers, nonsense word list

Procedure: Review with students the story of the writing on the wall. Remind students that the writing meant nothing to the king until Daniel told him what it meant. Explain that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the New Testament was written in Greek with some Aramaic and Hebrew. The other reason the Bible is sometimes hard to understand is that it uses words we don’t use in our everyday conversations. So even though we hear words like “faith” and “salvation” at church, we may not hear them many other places. We may even think we know what they mean, but if we can explain them in our own words, then we probably don’t really understand what they mean.

Introduce the activity. Start by teaching students basic phonics rules such as digraphs (sh, wh, th), blends (str, gr, pl, etc), or other phonics rules appropriate for the students. Then give the students unfamiliar words and help them practice sounding out the words using what they know about phonics. 

*Look up and use a nonsense word list appropriate for your students

Additional Questions: How can nonsense words be created and practiced?

Supplemental Activity: Have students create nonsense words using basic phonic rules. Have them quiz a partner to see how many the partner can read correctly.

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