Word Challenge: Outdoor Edition

Elementary Literacy Activity

  1. Find shapes that resemble letters from outdoor materials – make sure to find the entire alphabet!
  2. How many words can you create in one minute? Ask 1 partner create the words with the materials and 1 partner write down the list of words. Swap! Compare the lists of words with the class: categorize common words, unique words, three letter words, five letter words, etc.
  3. If you can’t find materials in the shapes of letters, make your own out of sticks, pebbles, leaves, beach plastic, etc.

Variations on the challenge:

  • Longest word: What is the longest word you can spell? What about the longest word you can spell using the most words from the alphabet only once? Fun fact: there are two 15-letter words that do not repeat a letter: “uncopyrightable” referring to something for which it is not possible to secure copyright, and “dermatoglyphics” meaning ‘the study of skin markings.’
  • Create your own pangram: There are sentences in English in which all 26 letters occur at least once. That kind of sentence is called a pangram or holoalphabetic sentence. Example: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Can you create your own?
  • Scrabble: Create a giant scrabble board! In an open space, ask one student to spell out a word. Have each student add a word onto the existing word, overlapping with 1 letter.

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