Making Words First Grade: 100 Hands-On Lessons for Phonemic Awareness, Phonics and Spelling

Allyn & Bacon
Patricia M. Cunningham / Dorothy P. Hall  
Total pages
December 2007
Related Titles

Product detail

Product Price CHF Available  
Making Words First Grade: 100 Hands-On Lessons for Phonemic Awareness, Phonics and Spelling
55.50 approx. 7-9 days

Free evaluation copy for lecturers


An active and innovative approach to making words that teachers and their students have grown to love is finally here!


Based on its highly successful parent text, Phonics They Use, this new grade-level series Making Words offers teachers a fresh multi-level activity and lesson series written for the kindergarten through fifth grade classroom. Pat Cunningham and Dottie Hall  present classroom teachers with effective tools for strengthening phonics and spelling skills that encourage students to move beyond learning and into a world of word discovery. Each research-based volume includes a wealth of friendly, hands-on, manipulative activities that guide teachers in teaching the development of words--from phonemic awareness to spelling.


In Making Words First Grade, Pat and Dottie introduce first grade teachers to 100 lessons that teach all the phonics, spelling, and phonemic awareness skills included in most first grade curricula. Each Making Words activity leads children through a systematic and sequential phonics curriculum. All lessons include practice with the phonemic awareness skills of segmenting and blending as children stretch out words they are making and blend the letters to make new words. Because teaching children letter-sound relationships is easier than teaching children to actually use these letter-sound relationships, all lessons include a transfer step in which children apply the sounds they are learning to spelling new words. 


Making Words First Grade is the best resource you can have on hand for motivating your students to learn words!  


  • Features 100 fun and interactive lessons for building phonemic awareness, phonics, and spelling skills.
  • Presents a concise method for involving students in the process of identifying phonological units and patterns within words.
  • Promotes student awareness of similarities in words that helps develop writing skills.
  • Includes reproducible letter tiles, record sheets for each lesson, and take-home sheets to copy, cut, and/or laminate.
  • Highlights a list of useful children's books to extend the Making Words lesson.


  • Table of Contents


    Lesson 1: stand (Consonants: s, t, n, d and the vowel a)

    Lesson 2: hands (The letter h is introduced.)

    Lesson 3: bands  (The letter b is introduced.)

    Lesson 4: blast (The letter l is introduced.)

    Lesson 5: brand (The letter r is introduced.)

    Lesson 6: grand (The letter g is introduced.)

    Lesson 7: strap (The letter p is introduced.)

    Lesson 8: claps (The letter c is introduced.)

    Lesson 9: stamps (The letter m is introduced.)

    Lesson 10: rafts (The letter f is introduced.)

    Assessment Lessons 1-10

    Lesson 11: clamps (Review the consonants: c, l, m, p, s and the vowel a)

    Lesson 12: hunts (The vowel u is introduced.)

    Lesson 13: stung (The vowel u is reviewed.)

    Lesson 14: spend(The vowel e is introduced.)

    Lesson 15: spent (The vowel e is reviewed.)

    Lesson 16: print (The vowel i is introduced.)

    Lesson 17: trips (The vowel i is reviewed.)

    Lesson 18: gifts (The vowel i reviewed.)

    Lesson 19: plots (The vowel o is introduced.)

    Lesson 20: stomp (The vowel o is reviewed.)

    Assessment Lessons 11-20

    Lesson 21: think (The consonant combination th is introduced.)

    Lesson 22: thanks (The letters a, h, s, t, and the th combination are reviewed.)

    Lesson 23: shrimp (The consonant combination sh is introduced.)

    Lesson 24: shrink (The consonant combination sh is reviewed.)

    Lesson 25: champs (The consonant combination ch is introduced.)

    Lesson 26: chimps (The sh and ch combinations are reviewed.)

    Lesson 27: stack (The consonant ck combination at the end of a word is introduced.)

    Lesson 28: tracks (The letter a, c, r, s , and t are reviewed.)

    Lesson 29: tricks (The letters i, c, r, s and t are reviewed.)

    Lesson 30: trucks (The letters u, c, st, r, and t are reviewed.)

    Assessment Lessons 21-30

    Lesson 31: wishing (Vowel sound for i is reviewed)

    Lesson 32: jumping (The letter j is introduced.)

    Lesson 33: kittens (Vowel sounds for i and e)

    Lesson 34: mittens (Vowel sounds for i and e)

    Lesson 35: lipstick (Vowel sound for i isreviewed)

    Lesson 36: blanket (Vowel sounds for a and e)

    Lesson 37: plastic (Vowel sounds for a and i)

    Lesson 38: bathtub (Vowel sound for u is reviewed)

    Lesson 39: shopping (Vowel sounds for o and i)

    Lesson 40: stocking (Vowel sounds for o and i)

    Back Cover


    Patricia M. Cunningham and Dorothy P. Hall

    Making Words First Grade


    Based on the best selling book, Phonics They Use: Words for Reading and Writing, this grade level series offers a fresh pairing of lessons and activities for kindergarten through fifth grade. In Making Words First Grade, Pat and Dottie introduce first grade teachers to 100 Making Words lessons that cover all of the literacy skills included in most first grade curricula. The activities progress through a systematic, sequential phonics program that includes ample practice with the phonemic awareness skills of segmenting and blending. After students gain experience stretching out words to add letters and make new words, all lessons include a transfer step to help them apply the sounds they learn to the spelling of new words.


     “This book is very appealing to me as a first grade teacher. It provides many lessons to teach…essential skills for beginning readers. I would…highly recommend it to others based on the practicality and usability of the [book] and on the reputation of the authors.”

    –Janet Dancy, teacher, Norfleet Elementary School, Kansas City, MO


     “Any teacher who has ever watched the functionality of making words will love this book for its inclusion of phonemic awareness concepts as well as the sequential layout of skills taught.”

    -Laura Denise Boger, teacher, Clemmons Elementary School, Clemmons, NC


    Patricia M. Cunningham is the author of Beyond Retelling, Classrooms That Work, Schools That Work, and Phonics They Use, all published by Allyn & Bacon, as well as a professor of education at Wake Forest University. She has over 30 years of experience in various elementary grades and with remedial reading and has served as a curriculum coordinator and director of reading. Pat promotes literacy for all children through her Four Blocks® workshops and staff development sessions with educators.


    Dorothy P. Hall is the co-developer of the Four Blocks® framework and the director of the Four Blocks® Center at Wake Forest University. A former elementary teacher and education professor, she also presents workshops around the country on Four Blocks®, Building Blocks, guided reading strategies, and phonics instruction.



    Patricia M. Cunningham

    The day I entered first grade, I decided I wanted to teach first grade. In 1965, I graduated from the University of Rhode Island and began my teaching career teaching first grade in Key West, Florida. For the next several years, I taught a variety of grades and worked as a curriculum coordinator and special reading teacher in Florida and Indiana.


    From the very beginning, I worried about children who struggled learning to read and devised a variety of alternative strategies to teach them to read. In 1974, I received my Ph. D. in Reading Education from the University of Georgia. I developed the Making Words activity while working with Title One teachers in North Carolina where I was the Director of Reading for Alamance County Schools. I have been the Director of Elementary Education at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, North Carolina since 1980 and have worked with numerous teachers to develop hands-on engaging ways to teach phonics and spelling. In 1991, I published Phonics they Use: Words for Reading and Writing, which is currently available in its fourth edition. Along with Richard Allington, I published Classrooms that Work and Schools that Work.


    Dottie Hall and I have worked together on many projects. In 1989, we began developing the Four Blocks Framework, a comprehensive approach to literacy which is used in many schools in the United States and Canada. Dottie Hall and I have  worked together to produce many books, including the first Making Words books and the Month by Month Phonics Books. These Making Words by Grade Level books are in response to requests by teachers across the years to have making words lessons with a scope and sequence tailored to their grade level. We hope you and your students will enjoy these making words lessons and we would love to hear your comments and suggestions.


    Dorothy P. Hall

    I always wanted to teach young children too! After graduating from Worcester State College in Massachusetts I taught first and second grade. After two years, I moved to North Carolina where I continued teaching in the primary grades. Many children I worked with struggled to learn to read in the newly integrated schools. I wanted to learn more and received my M ED and Ed D in Reading from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


    I also worked at Wake Forest University where I met and began to work with Pat Cunningham. After three years teaching at the college level I returned to the public schools and taught third and fourth grade as well being a reading and curriculum  coordinator for my school district. At this time Pat Cunningham and I began to collaborate on a number of projects. In 1989, we developed the Four Blocks Framework, a comprehensive approach to literacy in grades one, two, and three which we later expanded to kindergarten, calling it Building Blocks, and the upper grades, calling it Big Blocks. By 1999 Pat and I had written four Making Words books, a series of Month by Month Phonics Books, and The Teacher’s Guided to Four Blocks and I retired from the school system to devote more time to consulting and writing. I also went back to work at Wake Forest University where I taught courses in Reading, Children’s Literature, and Language Arts Instruction for elementary education students. I am now Director of the Four Blocks Center at Wake Forest University and enjoy working with teachers and administrators around the country presenting workshops on Four Blocks, Building Blocks, Guided Reading Strategies, and Phonics Instruction. I have also written several books with teachers. One request Pat and I have had for a number of years is to revise the Making Words by grade level and include a scope and sequence for the phonics instruction taught. Here it is—Enjoy!