A Fun Way to Get Beginning Writers to Use Spaces Between Words

About: I've been teaching about 20 years. I love it. Kids are brilliant and fun to work with.

It always amazes me how some beginning writers have such difficulty with remembering to put spaces between words--even after several months of demonstrations that include modeling the insertion of spaces between words. Spaces between words dramatically increases the readability of a a beginner's writing.  

This technique works like a charm--it gets kids to include spaces between words effortlessly. I usually introduce this technique after a few months of writing lessons.  

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Step 1: Show Kids a Sentence That Is Missing Spaces

The first step in this lesson is to demonstrate writing without spaces between words.  Show kids how difficult it is to read a sentence that is missing spaces.  For example:  "Iseeadog."  Next, show kids what the sentence looks like with spaces.  Ask the kids why the second sentence is easier to read.  

Step 2: Insert Cereal in Spaces Between Words

Let students know that every space in a sentence will get a piece of cereal.  After letting kids write for 15 minutes, walk around the room and insert cereal in the spaces between the words. Celebrate their success by letting them eat the cereal placed on their paper.  Repeat process for one week.

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    Clever idea. This premise would work for older students who don't indent sufficiently, too. Might have to use a larger diameter cereal like fruit loops, though.