Counting Words in Sentences

Hello, everyone!  It's Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars here with a a fun and easy to do activity to help with

I am so glad that all of our beginning of the year literacy assessments are complete!  That means I can actually enjoy working with students, my favorite part of my job!

One of our reading program's biggest weaknesses is helping students gain concept of word, an essential skill for learning to read.  {Check our Carla's post on COW by clicking here.}  With kindergarten, I start with that during week 1 because these students really need it!

So many times the students I work with have never been read to until they enter school.  Some, surprisingly, have never been exposed to words!  This baffles me as I spend my days and nights immersing my own children in reading.  It seems like a simple concept, but some families find it hard.  As a reading specialist, it is my job to close the gap!

One of the things I start with to help students understand that sentences are made of words is a simple activity ~ Counting Words in Sentences.  To do this the teacher reads aloud a sentence to the students.  The students use cubes or counters and slide them up for each word they hear in the sentence.  It is all done orally by the teacher, and the students listen.

Here it is in action in my classroom!
We start out with our counters on our boards.
We move the tiles up for each word in the sentence.
This sentence has 3 words in it!

I always start off with three word sentences and work my way up to sentences with up to 10 words.  This is a great way to help students understand that what we say is made up of separate words, so what we read is made up of words as well.  It builds a connection between the spoken word and the written word.

To try this out with your students, you can grab a copy of my Counting Words Boards freebie by clicking {here} or on the picture below.

How do you help your students make the connection between the spoken and written word?

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. What a great activity for teaching concept of word! I use a kit that I purchased years ago called "Counting Words". One side of the wipe-off board was just for sliding tiles. The other side of the wipe-off board had writing lines beneath the tile squares for writing the words of the sentence. Love this activity!

    1. I actually got the idea from the kit I saw in a catalog. Since I had no money for it, I made my own boards. I like the idea of writing lines for later when they can actually write the sounds. I will have to add that to my lessons!