Strategy

Letter/Word Tiles

Magnetic Tiles

UDL 5.2

Letter/Word Tiles are a collection of small squares or rectangles (usually plastic), each containing a single letter of the alphabet or word. Students physically manipulate Letter/Word Tiles during activities to create, segment, and rearrange letters into words or words into sentences and phrases. Letter and Word Tiles are an effective tool for supporting visual and tactile learners when teaching a variety of skills including phonics, spelling patterns, syllable division, sentence structure, and parts of speech.

Ready-to-Use Resources

Manipulatives

Small Letter Tiles

A set of printable alphabet letter tiles for use in literacy activities. Use these tiles during phonics, grammar, vocabulary, and other literacy activities

Grade K, 1, 2 · Reading, Writing · 1 pages


Manipulatives

Small Common Phoneme Tiles

A set of printable letter tiles with additional common phonemes for use in literacy activities. Use these tiles during phonics, grammar, vocabulary, and other literacy activities

Grade K, 1, 2 · Reading, Writing · 1 pages


Manipulatives

Word Tiles

A set of printable word tiles for use in literacy activities. This set includes small word tiles of (30) high-frequency words. Use these tiles during phonics, grammar, vocabulary, and other literacy activities

Grade K, 1, 2, 3 · Reading, Writing · 2 pages


Manipulatives

Large Letter Tiles

A set of printable large alphabet letter tiles for use in literacy activities. Use these tiles during phonics, grammar, vocabulary, and other literacy activities

Grade K, 1, 2 · Reading, Writing · 3 pages


Manipulatives

Large Common Phoneme Tiles

A set of large printable letter tiles with additional common phonemes for use in literacy activities. Use these tiles during phonics, grammar, vocabulary, and other literacy activities

Grade K, 1, 2 · Reading, Writing · 3 pages


Manipulatives

Blank Word Tiles

A set of customizable and printable letter tiles for use in literacy activities. Populate with current vocabulary and use during phonics, grammar, vocabulary, and other literacy activities.

Grade K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 · Reading, Writing · 1 pages


Flash Cards

Illustrated Letter Cards: Lowercase

A set of illustrated lowercase letter cards paired with real-life animals and objects. Letters are grouped in the order in which they can be taught to reduce confusion between similar looking and sounding letters. Included are blank cards to individualize or personalize letter cards.

Grade K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 · English Language Arts, Reading · 5 pages


Flash Cards

Illustrated Letter Cards: Uppercase

A set of illustrated uppercase letter cards paired with real-life animals and objects. Letters are grouped in the order in which they can be taught to reduce confusion between similar looking and sounding letters. Included are blank cards to individualize or personalize letter cards.

Grade K, 1, 2 · English Language Arts, Reading · 5 pages


Resource

Letter Tile Mats

Manipulatives like letter and word tiles aren’t just useful for students struggling to build vocabulary or phonemic/phonetic awareness — they can also be used as an engaging way to teach new concepts or domain-specific vocabulary.

Grade K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 · English Language Arts, Reading, Writing · 10 pages


Implementation Tips

Creating Tiles
Use pieces from old word games (such as Bananagrams, Scrabble, and Boggle) for Letter/Word Tiles. If students have trouble handling loose tiles, consider attaching magnets to the back of each tile. Students can then use the tiles on individual dry-erase boards or baking sheets.
Color Coding
Use colors to distinguish different types of letters or words. For Letter Tiles, all vowels can be one color and consonants another. Word Tiles can be colored according to parts of speech. The colors help students recognize and remember patterns within words and sentences.
Supporting Reluctant Students
Provide Letter or Word Tiles for students to use during writing and spelling activities to support students who are intimidated by such tasks or afraid to make mistakes. When using tiles, mistakes are easier to correct and patterns are easier to remember, making the task less daunting. During tasks, have students create words or sentences with tiles first and then transfer their work to paper.

Examples

Games
A first grade teacher has students use letter tiles to complete animal word scrambles. The teacher gives each student a set of Letter Tiles and a list of animals where the letters have been mixed up (e.g., ‘bdri’ instead of ‘bird’). For each scramble, the students find tiles for the letters listed and rearrange them to find the correct spelling of the animal’s name.
Spelling
A teacher notices that a student has greater success in spelling when using Letter Tiles. For the next spelling test, allows the student to use Letter Tiles to spell the word before writing it down on the answer sheet. After the student gains more experience working with letters and recognizing spelling patterns, the teacher begins to fade the support by first allowing the student to use the tiles for five words on the test, then removing the tiles all together.
Parts of Speech
As part of a unit on parts of speech, a teacher has students work in groups to complete a [[https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/3f/c2/ee/3fc2eea8a310b0aec6d0b24b601e13c9.jpg|“Mad Libs”]] activity using Word Tiles. Each group is given a set of Word Tiles representing various parts of speech and a “Mad Libs” story containing blanks with the part of speech listed under it. Each group creates their unique story by placing Word Tiles matching the indicated part of speech in the blanks. After all of the groups complete their stories, they take turns reading it out loud to the entire class.

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