Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
March 10, 2017

12 Insanely Fun Math and Reading Games, Part Four: Paper

By Allie Magnuson
Grades PreK–K

    If there’s one thing teachers have a lot of, it’s paper. Usually it’s basic copy paper, notebook paper, and construction paper. But your paper stash can include so much more variety! There are more kinds of paper out there than you can possibly imagine. Economical and easy to store, paper can make learning come alive in the simplest of ways. In these long, boring days leading up to spring, when students are gaining proficiency in many areas and moving onto more challenging work, liven the learning up a little with some insanely fun paper games!

    1.  Short Vowel Flight

    • Number of students: Whole group
    • Skill: Short vowels
    • Supplies: Butcher paper, copy paper (letter size)
    • Directions: Write some words with short and long vowel sounds on a large piece of butcher paper. Hang it up, make a paper airplane (assembly instructions here), and have students take turns trying to throw it at the words with short vowel sounds.

     

    2.  Short Vowel Landing

     

    • Number of students: Whole group
    • Skill: Short vowels
    • Supplies: Packing paper, copy paper (letter size)
    • Directions: Write some words with short and long vowel sounds on a large piece of Kraft packing paper, which is durable enough to walk on. Lay it out on the floor, make a paper helicopter (assembly instructions here), and have students take turns trying to get the helicopter to land on the words with short vowel sounds.

     

    3.  Long Vowel Decoder

     

    • Number of students: Small group
    • Skill: Long vowels
    • Supplies: Cellophane paper (red), tagboard (letter size), index cards (4x6”) light blue crayon, yellow highlighter, red ballpoint pen
    • Directions: To make a decoder, fold a piece of tagboard in half widthwise. Cut out a slot in the top front, and staple the sides together to make a pocket. Cut a window in the center front, and glue a piece of cellophane the same size to the inside front so you can see it through the window.

     

    To make code cards, cut index cards to fit the decoder. On the top of each card, draw two pictures: a picture of a short vowel word, and a picture of the long vowel word it becomes by adding a silent e. (See photo for examples.) Write the long vowel word underneath with a light blue crayon, cover it with crosshatches in yellow highlighter, and then cover it all with red circles and stars.

     

    Students play by reading the words and trying to identify which is the long vowel sound. To see if they are right, they insert the card into the decoder and reveal the picture!

    4. Long Vowel Scratch-Off

     

    • Number of students: Small group
    • Skill: Long vowels
    • Supplies: Con-Tact paper, index cards (4x6”), ink pens, acrylic paint, paintbrush
    • Directions: To make scratch-off cards, start by writing a short vowel word and a long vowel word on the top of each index card. Underneath, adhere a rectangle of Con-Tact paper. On top of that, draw a picture of the long vowel word with ink pens. Finally, cover it all with a few coats of acrylic paint and let dry. To play, students read the words and try to identify the long vowel word. To see if they are right, they scratch off the paint to reveal the picture!

    5. Letter Blender

     

    • Number of students: Individual
    • Skill: Blends
    • Supplies: Tracing paper, copy paper, perforating tool, Sharpie
    • Directions: Draw an outline of a blender on a sheet of tracing paper, and staple it to a sheet of copy paper. Make pairs of blends by writing the first letter in each pair on the tracing paper, and the second letter on the copy paper. Cut around each pair with the perforating tool to make “fruit.” Next, make some paper cups with the rimes on them.

     

    To play, invite students to trace the second letter and see how it blends with the first. Then have them punch out the onset pair and find the matching rime on one of the cups. Continue until they’ve filled all the cups with fruit smoothies.

    6. Letter Mixer

     

    • Number of students: Individual
    • Skill: Blends
    • Supplies: Wax paper, copy paper, perforating tool, Sharpie
    • Directions: Draw an outline of a mixer on a sheet of wax paper, and staple it to a sheet of copy paper. Make pairs of blends by writing the first letter in each pair on the wax paper, and the second letter on the copy paper. Cut around each pair with the perforating tool to make “cookies.” Next, make some paper plates with the rimes on them.

     

    To play, invite students to trace the second letter and see how it blends with the first. Then have them punch out the onset pair and find the matching rime on one of the plates. Continue until they’ve filled all the plates with cookies.

    7. Measuring Rip-Off

     

    • Number of students: Whole group
    • Skill: Measuring
    • Supplies: Adding paper roll
    • Directions: Hang up or set out a roll of adding machine paper. Tell students to find objects in the room to measure, and have them rip off the appropriate length.

     

    8. Measuring Match-Up

     

    • Number of students: Whole group
    • Skill: Measuring
    • Supplies: Easel paper roll, black marker
    • Directions: Hang up or set out a roll of easel paper. Draw lines of varying lengths on the roll and rip them off. Hand one to each student and tell them to find objects in the room that fit each length.

    9. Pictographing

     

    • Number of students: Small group
    • Skill: Data
    • Supplies: Graph paper (1x1")
    • Directions: Pick a subject to graph. On a sheet of graphing paper, draw symbols that represent the subject and make rows for each thing being measured (e.g., for the subject “Holidays,” draw a different number of symbols for each holiday, and make a row for each holiday underneath). Make copies, and have students draw the symbols in the appropriate rows to find out which has the most.

    10. Bar Graphing

     

    • Number of students: Small group
    • Skill: Data
    • Supplies: Graph paper (4x4")
    • Directions: Pick a subject to graph. On a sheet of graphing paper, draw symbols that represent the subject and make columns for each thing being measured (e.g., for the subject “Pets,” draw a different number of symbols for each pet, and make a column for each pet underneath). Make copies, and have students color a line for each symbol in the appropriate columns to find out which has the most.

    11. Origami Pattern Fortune

     

    • Number of students: Individual
    • Skill: Patterns
    • Supplies: Origami paper (8x8")
    • Directions: Make a paper fortune teller (assembly instructions here). On the four outside flaps, write the names of colors. On the eight inside flips, write numbers. Underneath each inside flap, write a fortune and make a pattern of symbols to go with it. Students can play to see if they can get each fortune and guess each pattern.

    12. Kirigami Pattern Chain

     

    • Number of students: Individual
    • Skill: Patterns
    • Supplies: Origami paper (8.5x11")
    • Directions: Cut the paper lengthwise, fold eight times accordion style, and draw a figure (a boy, a girl, or an animal) on the top, with the arms extended out. Cut out and unfold. Students can draw clothes in a pattern on the paper dolls.

     

    If there’s one thing teachers have a lot of, it’s paper. Usually it’s basic copy paper, notebook paper, and construction paper. But your paper stash can include so much more variety! There are more kinds of paper out there than you can possibly imagine. Economical and easy to store, paper can make learning come alive in the simplest of ways. In these long, boring days leading up to spring, when students are gaining proficiency in many areas and moving onto more challenging work, liven the learning up a little with some insanely fun paper games!

    1.  Short Vowel Flight

    • Number of students: Whole group
    • Skill: Short vowels
    • Supplies: Butcher paper, copy paper (letter size)
    • Directions: Write some words with short and long vowel sounds on a large piece of butcher paper. Hang it up, make a paper airplane (assembly instructions here), and have students take turns trying to throw it at the words with short vowel sounds.

     

    2.  Short Vowel Landing

     

    • Number of students: Whole group
    • Skill: Short vowels
    • Supplies: Packing paper, copy paper (letter size)
    • Directions: Write some words with short and long vowel sounds on a large piece of Kraft packing paper, which is durable enough to walk on. Lay it out on the floor, make a paper helicopter (assembly instructions here), and have students take turns trying to get the helicopter to land on the words with short vowel sounds.

     

    3.  Long Vowel Decoder

     

    • Number of students: Small group
    • Skill: Long vowels
    • Supplies: Cellophane paper (red), tagboard (letter size), index cards (4x6”) light blue crayon, yellow highlighter, red ballpoint pen
    • Directions: To make a decoder, fold a piece of tagboard in half widthwise. Cut out a slot in the top front, and staple the sides together to make a pocket. Cut a window in the center front, and glue a piece of cellophane the same size to the inside front so you can see it through the window.

     

    To make code cards, cut index cards to fit the decoder. On the top of each card, draw two pictures: a picture of a short vowel word, and a picture of the long vowel word it becomes by adding a silent e. (See photo for examples.) Write the long vowel word underneath with a light blue crayon, cover it with crosshatches in yellow highlighter, and then cover it all with red circles and stars.

     

    Students play by reading the words and trying to identify which is the long vowel sound. To see if they are right, they insert the card into the decoder and reveal the picture!

    4. Long Vowel Scratch-Off

     

    • Number of students: Small group
    • Skill: Long vowels
    • Supplies: Con-Tact paper, index cards (4x6”), ink pens, acrylic paint, paintbrush
    • Directions: To make scratch-off cards, start by writing a short vowel word and a long vowel word on the top of each index card. Underneath, adhere a rectangle of Con-Tact paper. On top of that, draw a picture of the long vowel word with ink pens. Finally, cover it all with a few coats of acrylic paint and let dry. To play, students read the words and try to identify the long vowel word. To see if they are right, they scratch off the paint to reveal the picture!

    5. Letter Blender

     

    • Number of students: Individual
    • Skill: Blends
    • Supplies: Tracing paper, copy paper, perforating tool, Sharpie
    • Directions: Draw an outline of a blender on a sheet of tracing paper, and staple it to a sheet of copy paper. Make pairs of blends by writing the first letter in each pair on the tracing paper, and the second letter on the copy paper. Cut around each pair with the perforating tool to make “fruit.” Next, make some paper cups with the rimes on them.

     

    To play, invite students to trace the second letter and see how it blends with the first. Then have them punch out the onset pair and find the matching rime on one of the cups. Continue until they’ve filled all the cups with fruit smoothies.

    6. Letter Mixer

     

    • Number of students: Individual
    • Skill: Blends
    • Supplies: Wax paper, copy paper, perforating tool, Sharpie
    • Directions: Draw an outline of a mixer on a sheet of wax paper, and staple it to a sheet of copy paper. Make pairs of blends by writing the first letter in each pair on the wax paper, and the second letter on the copy paper. Cut around each pair with the perforating tool to make “cookies.” Next, make some paper plates with the rimes on them.

     

    To play, invite students to trace the second letter and see how it blends with the first. Then have them punch out the onset pair and find the matching rime on one of the plates. Continue until they’ve filled all the plates with cookies.

    7. Measuring Rip-Off

     

    • Number of students: Whole group
    • Skill: Measuring
    • Supplies: Adding paper roll
    • Directions: Hang up or set out a roll of adding machine paper. Tell students to find objects in the room to measure, and have them rip off the appropriate length.

     

    8. Measuring Match-Up

     

    • Number of students: Whole group
    • Skill: Measuring
    • Supplies: Easel paper roll, black marker
    • Directions: Hang up or set out a roll of easel paper. Draw lines of varying lengths on the roll and rip them off. Hand one to each student and tell them to find objects in the room that fit each length.

    9. Pictographing

     

    • Number of students: Small group
    • Skill: Data
    • Supplies: Graph paper (1x1")
    • Directions: Pick a subject to graph. On a sheet of graphing paper, draw symbols that represent the subject and make rows for each thing being measured (e.g., for the subject “Holidays,” draw a different number of symbols for each holiday, and make a row for each holiday underneath). Make copies, and have students draw the symbols in the appropriate rows to find out which has the most.

    10. Bar Graphing

     

    • Number of students: Small group
    • Skill: Data
    • Supplies: Graph paper (4x4")
    • Directions: Pick a subject to graph. On a sheet of graphing paper, draw symbols that represent the subject and make columns for each thing being measured (e.g., for the subject “Pets,” draw a different number of symbols for each pet, and make a column for each pet underneath). Make copies, and have students color a line for each symbol in the appropriate columns to find out which has the most.

    11. Origami Pattern Fortune

     

    • Number of students: Individual
    • Skill: Patterns
    • Supplies: Origami paper (8x8")
    • Directions: Make a paper fortune teller (assembly instructions here). On the four outside flaps, write the names of colors. On the eight inside flips, write numbers. Underneath each inside flap, write a fortune and make a pattern of symbols to go with it. Students can play to see if they can get each fortune and guess each pattern.

    12. Kirigami Pattern Chain

     

    • Number of students: Individual
    • Skill: Patterns
    • Supplies: Origami paper (8.5x11")
    • Directions: Cut the paper lengthwise, fold eight times accordion style, and draw a figure (a boy, a girl, or an animal) on the top, with the arms extended out. Cut out and unfold. Students can draw clothes in a pattern on the paper dolls.

     

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

Allie's Most Recent Posts

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us