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Differentiated Kindergarten Nonsense Word Fun and Freebies!

It’s our business to make things fun, exciting, different and engaging. Let’s face it, that’s what kindergarten teachers do!  That’s how we hook ‘em(this would be the ‘differentiating in response to interest’ part) and keep them wanting more. There’s nothing to be ashamed of for your wanting to make things engaging and fun.  I know I am seriously guilty of it and proud.  So when it’s time to do nonsense word fluency practice, I am always looking for a little ‘carrot’ to dangle in front of their noses. Sometimes that carrot is as simple as a bunch of nonsense words written on a piece of butcher paper . . .
 . . .with some roads drawn on it . . .
and a couple of road signs . . .
 . . . starting and finish lines and a car or two, of course. 

Ta-dah! You have a Nonsense Word Highway.  Start your engines and see how far you can get in one minute.  It’s been a classroom favorite for years now and it’s so simple.  Anyone can do this!

I’ve been known to write nonsense words on dog bones (they look like dinosaur bones to a kinder friend) to be discovered in my sensory table by my budding kinder-paleontologists. Who doesn’t love digging for bones?

(If you want to check it out, I have a differentiated freebie for this activity too.  Just click on the picture above.)

I use these mini Jenga-like building pieces,

write nonsense words on the wood pieces and have my kinders read them as they retrieve them from the tower.  Say it correctly and you get to keep the stick. Say it incorrectly and it goes on top the tower.  

Of course you have seen my iceberg pals and how I use them to jump form nonsense iceberg to nonsense iceberg.  

Often, I have the kids play the role of penguin or polar bear and do the hopping from iceberg to iceberg for a kinesthetic twist.  (Do you love the toe socks or what?)

This is easy to do for any theme.  This one I used for spring and told them they were bunnies jumping.  Just get whatever seasonal foamie you can find.

How about filling your sensory table with green rice for St. Pat’s Day and having your kindergarteners search for nonsense gold?

(They’re old PTO tokens that were going to be thrown out!  Now they’re gold!)  Don’t have any old PTO tokens hand on any gold pieces?  No worries, I can set you up with this St. Pat’s freebie that will do the trick.

So kick the “nonsense words are boring” rut and spice up your routine a bit. Of course, there are tons of other activities I do such as this card game

but these are just a few that I actually had a few pictures readily available.  I’d love to hear back from you all to hear what you do to spice up your nonsense word work.  So drop me a note. 

Marsha Moffit McGuire

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