Around the World with Tricky Words

My school follows the Jolly Phonics Programme and as part of that I must teach some “tricky words”.  Tricky words are those that cannot be easily sounded out, eg should, little, and must be instantly recognized instead. I don’t have that many commercially bought games to go with the programme as they are beyond my budget. For those of you in the same situation you might like a copy of my Tricky Words Around the World Game! It covers Tricky Words 31-60. Even if your school or child is not covering the Jolly Phonics Programme learning to read these words would certainly speed up fluency 🙂

To play, each child is given one card, sometimes more! The child with the “go” sign starts the game by saying “I have go. Who has only?”. The child with the word “only”will respond with “I have only.Who has old?”. The games continues in a loop until the last child calls “stop”. My class love it and when they are familiar with the words I set a stop watch and they race to beat the clock. It’s hilarious!

 Click here to download!

Cut out the flashcards going across the page so that you have a white and a blue section still attached!   

I hope that you all have as much fun and learning with this game as we do.

Have fun!

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Scrambled Spellings !

This is another quick and simple way to practice spellings. My class get great enjoyment from it.

Click here to download.

After you have finished practicing your spellings for the night, whip out my Scrambled Eggs Handout.  In the “Scrambled Egg” column your child writes his/her spellings back-to-front or completely mixed up. Then put the sheet away for tomorrow evening. Start your spelling practice by having your child figure out the scrambled up words from yesterday and writing them in the Un-scrambled section. Alternatively, you could scramble the words for your child to decode.

What do you think? Let me know if your child/class enjoyed this game. I just love getting comments!!!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Blank Battleships Template for you to use

I have had some requests for a blank version of my Battleships Game. This will allow you to completely customize the game to suit individual needs. Either write the words into the boxes or type them out and paste them in.

My class are just loving it! I hope that you love it too 🙂

(Please click on the image below to download)

Note: You must have your Gmail or Google Docs account open for the download to work.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Battleships Ahoy!

A few weeks ago I made a Bingo Board for my students to take home. It was a revision exercise to ensure that they hadn’t forgotten all of last term’s work. Anyway, I got some really positive responses from parents. I have been wracking my brain all week for another easy take home game and then it hit me! Battleships! I have some old boards from but they didn’t suit the words we were revising.

I have created two different Battleship Games for download. The first corresponds to the reading scheme that my class follows. Anyone using Starways might like to use is as it covers half of the vocabulary for “Visiting”. The second one covers Dolch Pre-Primer words (I made 2 boards to cover all the words).  Instructions on how to play are also included in the download.

Just click on the picture to download.

Click on the picture to download.



Please let me know that you think.  I will make more Battleships games if people are interested.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Word Slide for tricky words (the, then, them, there, they, these)

Some of my students are having terrible trouble with the following tricky words:

  • then
  • them
  • they
  • there
  • these

The don’t call them “tricky” for nothing! They look similar, too similar, and only some can be “sounded out” correctly. So, where to begin?!

It is important to draw their attention to the familiar chunk in all these words :

  • then
  • them
  • they
  • there
  • these

I have created a word slide to help make the similarities and differences between the words more obvious.  I also think that it is kinda cute! What do you think?

You just slide the letter up into the window to create a “tricky word”. Generally, after doing this for a few days the penny will drop 😉

To download your free word sliders please click on the image below. There are two different images to choose from, a Gingerbread Man and Monkey Business.

It is pretty easy to put together. Just have a look at the photo. Fold it in half across the flap. Cut out the window and a tiny piece from the top to allow the letters to slide up and down.

Note: When downloading don’t forget to have your gmail or google docs account open. Click save when requested to do so at the bottom of your screen ( the warning is because the document is large, not because it is unsafe!)

I really hope that you find this useful. Please let me know if you would like me to create some more word sliders.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Clipart by DJInkers

Concentration Game

Concentration is a great way to practice numbers, words, colours, or shapes.  The possibilities are endless.

I made this  “Shape Concentration Game” from a really cute note pad produced by Trend Enterprises Inc. They are available for purchase on

You can make your own by photocopying a shape ( eg. a cupcake) on to card and cutting it out.  (Note: it must be card as paper is too light and you can see through it 😉 ). I have laminated mine for extra durability.

I have uploaded some free printable for you to use, just click on the link: Free Printable Concentration Cards

How to make your concentration game:

Stick pairs of words/shapes on  the back of interesting cut-outs or notepads.

How to play alone:

Shuffle the cards and spread them out on the floor.

You many turn over two cards at a time.

  • If your cards do not match: turn them over again ( they should be in the exact same place as where you found them).

  • If your cards match: take them from the floor and keep them in a bundle.

The game is over when all the cards have been located and matched.

How to play together:

  • Alternate turning over cards.
  • The winner is the person with the most pairs at the end.


You could just laminate your cut-outs without adding anything to the back. This will give you blank shapes. You can then temporarily tape or blu-tack your words to the cards and change them for new ones as necessary. Cheeky!