A very simple Charlotte Mason-style reading lesson: no printing, cutting, or prep required. Do you have some movable letters, a book of nursery rhymes, and a pencil and paper around? Ask your beginning reader to bring them to you and you're ready to begin!
I flip to a page of our Mother Goose book and choose a poem for this week.
Get a really good look at it until you have a picture of it in your mind.
Now let's write it in the air together, looking at the letters.
Let's write it in the air together with our eyes closed.
Now I'm going to cover it up--how many times can you find it in this poem?
Now can you spell it with your letters without looking?
This next word says out. You know what that means, right?
"Like I go out the door!" Yes, that's right.
Let's take our mental picture. Air write. Spell with your letters. Check if you're right. Where else do you see out on this page?
You will see out in lots of bigger words too. For example, what if I put an SH in front of out. You remember what sh says, so sound it out all together--that's right, shout!
Let's start a column in your word notebook for those words. Tomorrow we'll see if we can find some more words that have out in them.
Now what's this next word? Yes, to. That's one you already know! Yes, you can write it there also if you want.
Let's move on to the next. You can sound out this one: yes, that's right, play. Mental picture. Find more on the page. Air write. Spell with letters. Add it to your word notebook.
Can you think of a word that rhymes with play?
"Stray! Like that book we have, The Stray Dog."
Yes! That's a good one. So let me show you how to spell stray. We want to keep the ay part and add a new beginning: S - T - R - ay.
Now I bet you know how to write the and dog, right? That means you can spell the whole book title with your letters, and you can add it to your notebook.
Let's see if we can make some other words with ay. What if I put B here? Bay. D here? Day. M here? May. S here? Say. Let's add a little line of ay words to your word notebook, now that you know so many.
Do you remember what our first word is? That's right, come. Why don't you spell that with your letters again and you can add it to your word notebook too.
Now can you read the whole title of this poem on your own? Take a look at the next line. What does the second half say? Yes, come out to play again! Tomorrow we'll go over the words in the first half and then you'll be able to read the whole thing.
And that's it! Ten minutes, tops. In that ten minutes, she has done a bit of word building, a bit of sight reading, covered a common diphthong and digraph (with nary a flashcard or textbook), and practiced spelling (and penmanship too!). But I just think of it as introducing her to some good word-friends and a lovely rhyme.