Word chains are one of the most effective ways to build the neural connections students need for automatic word recognition. This activity helps to map the orthography (spellings) of words to the sounds they represent (pronunciations). Throughout the early stages of word learning development, the word chain activity will be very valuable in establishing a strong link between spelling and pronunciation.
Word chains reinforce the relationship between phonemes and graphemes as students listen for the one-phoneme change in a word and then respond by making the appropriate spelling change. Students should have their own set of letter cards to manipulate so they have both a visual and kinesthetic experience.
Note: Book-by-book instruction for the Word Chain Activity Cards can be found in the Emergent Reader Foundational Skills Guides.