Multisensory instruction can help kids improve reading and writing skills. It works by engaging more than one sense at a time. Lots of teachers use techniques like these. But you can try them at home, too.
“Read it, build it, write it” mat with word building tiles
Help kids learn to read, spell, and write sight words with this activity.
- Print the color-coded word building tiles on heavy paper. Cut the tiles apart.
- Point out that the vowels are on red tiles and the consonants are on yellow tiles. Explain that the color-coding can help make it easier to recognize and work with vowels.
- Print the “Read it, build it, write it” mat.
- Write a word in the “Read it” box of the mat.
- Have kids build the word out of tiles in the “Build it” box. They should say each letter’s sound as they place it. Then they can read the whole word out loud when they’re done.
- Next, have kids practice writing the word in the “Write it” box.
You can use the tiles for other types of reading practice, too. For example, say a letter sound and have kids find the matching tile. Or ask them to find the tile that matches the first sound in a word.
Save paper by putting the mat in a plastic page protector and using a dry-erase marker.
Story stick questions
Story sticks help kids think about the different elements in a story. Cut out the questions and glue each one to a craft stick. When reading together, stop every so often and hand kids a stick to use as a prompt.
Learn more about these and other multisensory techniques for teaching reading.
About the author
About the author
Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days.
Ginny Osewalt is a dually certified elementary and special education teacher with more than 15 years of experience in general education, inclusion, resource room, and self-contained settings.