Family Activities: Activities for Grades 2-3
1. Ask your child to cut out letters from newspaper headlines, and use these to make words they know. The child can paste the words on a piece of paper and read them aloud to you. This activity could also be used with their spelling words for the week.
2. Ask your child to cut out letters from newspaper headlines and use these to make up a sentence about themself. (Example: I have brown hair.) The words for the sentence can be pasted on a sheet of paper, and the child can draw a picture to illustrate the sentence.
3. Cut a newspaper page into quarters. Using one quarter, ask your child to circle all of the words they can read. Ask them to read to you all of the words circled.
4. Have your child cut pictures of faces from the newspaper. Ask them how each person in the picture feels. Urge the child to use the facial expressions as clues. (Example: They feel happy because they are smiling.)
5. Tell your child to print their name down the side of a piece of paper. Then help them to look through the food advertisements to find foods whose names start with the letters of their name. Cut out the food (picture or word) and past next to the letters. (Example: S - spaghetti, spinach; A - apple, asparagus; M - marshmallow, melons.)
6. Ask your child to draw a map of either your whole house or of just a room in the house. Have them cut out furniture pictures from advertisements and paste them in proper places on the map. Have the child write in the home address at the bottom of the map.
7. Ask your child to divide a piece of paper into four parts and label each part with one of these titles: Something to Eat; Something to Play With; Something to Wear; and Something to Work With. The child will then go shopping in the newspaper to find words or pictures that fit in each category. Have them cut them out and paste them under the right heading.
8. Find a full page advertisement with a lot of pictures. On each picture, have your child write the name of the item pictured. (If the child cannot spell the name, have them write the letter that the picture begins with.) Extension: Younger children can write the beginning letter for items pictured.
9. Have your child make a Good Foods booklet. Ask them to find examples of each food group in the food section of the newspaper, cut them out and paste them on the appropriate pages of the booklet. The name of the food could be printed under its picture: dairy products, breads/cereals, fruits/vegetables, or meats.
10. Ask your child to find contrations on the comic page of the newspaper. Have them write the contractions and the words they stand for on a piece of paper. Example: can´t for cannot. Extension: Older children could then write sentences of their own using the contractions they found.
11. Ask your child to cut out letters from newspaper headlines to spell the names of other family members. Have them paste each name on a 3-by-5- card, and then decorate the cards. These can be used as place cards at the dinner table.
12. Have an alphabet race with the newspaper. Ask your child to circle a word starting with A, then B, then C and so on, staying in alphabetical order. Race all the way to Z.
13. Have your child divide a piece of paper into four parts. Label one part with the letter C, another B, another P, and the last M. Ask the child to look through the newspaper, cut out pictures that start with those letters and paste them under the matching letter. They can then label each picture. Extension: Older children can write a sentence of their own for each picture. Other letters or letter combinations may be used.
14. Choose your child´s favorite cartoon strip. Cut it to separate each frame (picture) in the cartoon. Mix up the frames and ask your child to arrange the pictures in their correct order.
15. Choose four comic strips from the newspaper. Cut the frames apart. Mix all of the frames together. Ask your child to make four piles, one for each comic strip. Extension: Older children can then arrange each comic strip in its correct order.
16. Have your child find a picture they like in the newspaper and paste it on a piece of cardboard. For example, they might use cardboard from a cereal box. Cut the picture into pieces like a jigsaw puzzle. Have your child put the picture back together.
17. Ask your child to look for circles in the newspaper and trace them with a red crayon. Look for rectangles and triangles to color green and yellow.
18. The letter C can sound like a K or an S. Have your child cut out ten words from the newspaper that start with C. Read the words to the child and have them put them in two piles - those which sound like K (as in cat), and those which sound like S (as in city).
19. Cut out a picture from the newspaper. Have your child tell what might have happened before the picture and what might have happened after the picture.
20. Have your child cut out the cents off coupons from the newspaper. Ask them to arrange them in a pile from the lowest to highest by the face value and then arrange them in piles by various categories, such as laundry products, pet care, frozen foods or snacks.
21. Have your child cut out all of the titles of the comic strips from the newspaper. Ask them to paste them on a piece of paper in alphabetical order.
22. Pretend you are going on vacation. Have your child look in the advertisements and cut out things they will need to take on the trip. Extension: Older children could make a list of items as they look through the advertisement.
23. Read the weather forecast from the newspaper to your child, or have them read it for themself. Discuss whether or not the forecast has been correct lately. Have the child make up symbols for different kinds of weather, such as smiley faces for sunshine. Have them put the symbol on the calendar for the weather that day. Do this for a week.
24. Have your child find a newspaper picture that shows an entire person. Have the child label these parts of the person´s body: ear, nose, foot and eye. Then label other bodyparts in the same way.
25. A noun is the name of a person, place or thing. Have your child label three pieces of paper with those titles. Ask them to find as many examples of each of these in the newspaper as possible. Use words and pictures, cutting them out and pasting them on the proper paper. Extension: Older children can write sentences of their own using some of the nouns from each category.
26. Have your child cut out 15 words from the newspaper. (Always use large type, like headlines or advertisements.) Ask them to paste these words on a piece of paper in alphabetical order. Extension: Older children should cut out words that begin with the same letter, then alphabetize them according to the second, third and fourth letters.
27. Find an advertisement in the newspaper that has a coupon to fill out. Have your child fill it in with his name and address for practice.
28. Have your child look through the sports section of the newspaper. Have them circle three words that mean win and three words that mean lose.
29. Have your child circle all of the number words (example: nine) on the first page of the sports section. Ask them to write each number word in numeral form (example: 9).
30. Have your child find the longest column of print on a page from the newspaper and measure it with a ruler. How long is it? How wide is it? Have the child find an advertisement. What are its measurements? Find a picture and do the same. Extension: Older children can take the measurements in inches and in centimeters.
31. Have your child cut out the letters a, e, e, n, p, p, r, s and w from the headlines of the newspaper. Ask them to rearrange these letters to make a list of as many different words as possible. Can they use all nine letters to make one word?
32. Have your child cut out words or pictures from the newspaper to complete these sentences:
Have them copy the complete sentences on a piece of paper.
33. Have your child find a grocery store advertisement. Ask them to mark with a red crayon each item in the ad that costs less than one dollar. If any item costs more than one dollar, he should color it blue.
34. Give your child a specified amount of money to spend. The child must then go through the newspaper, locating items that they might like to buy. They must find the total amount for the purchases with less than a dollar of the money left over.
35. Have your child examine the television schedule in the newspaper to locate their favorite programs. Then draw clock faces for each program, telling the time the show begins.
Modified from Ira Gordon´s DESIRABLE TEACHING BEHAVIORS: Stevie Hoffman, University of Missouri, Columbia.