Word Family Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teach and reinforce word families with this lesson plan. Students will read an informational text that explains what word families are and gives examples, then identify them in text before applying concepts to a fun activity that makes learning stick.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'word family'
  • explain what a word family is
  • identify word families in text


50 minutes


  • Copy of the lesson Word Families: Lesson for Kids to use as a shared reading
  • Dr. Seuss book to read to students, such as The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham
  • Index cards with word families written on them
  • Small white paper or plastic cups
  • Red and black permanent marker
  • Chart paper and marker
  • Highlight tape or highlighter
  • Books with word family rhymes for students to read
  • White boards and markers

Key Vocabulary

  • Word family

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.2

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.2.d

Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.2.e

Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.3.b

Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.1

Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.


  • Connect students to the topic and build interest by gathering them on the carpet and reading aloud a Dr. Seuss book such as The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham.
  • Pause often to ask students to identify rhyming words and share with a partner.
  • Write rhyme pairs on chart paper. For example, 'cat/hat' and 'two/do.'
  • Ask students to look at rhyme pairs and make observations. Guide students to notice that some words pairs end in the same letters (cat/hat) and others do not (two/do.)
  • Allow students to use highlight tape to put over word pairs with the same endings on the chart paper.
  • Now tell students these word pairs are called 'word families.' Write the term on chart paper and ask students to guess where the name comes from, then tell them this lesson will teach them.
  • Display the lesson Word Families: Lesson for Kids and the sections 'Word Families' and 'What are Word Families?' with students. Define 'word family' then ask:
    • Why do we call them word families?
    • Where do we find word families?
    • How do we use word families?
    • Why should we learn about word families?
  • Read the next section 'Examples of Common Word Families' with students. Allow student volunteers to find the word pairs in the example sentences.
  • Now give each student an index card. Instruct them to silently find others with cards in the same word family and stand together.
  • Repeat this exercise a few times, challenging students to see who can find their group the most quickly or while hopping on one foot.
  • Read the 'Lesson Summary' together with students, then take the lesson quiz together with students.

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