Literacy Centers: Secret Message Activities

My own son was struggling with learning his sight words AND he absolutely hated practicing! So, I started brainstorming fun ways for him to practice his words...

We tried many different ideas from building words with letter magnets to rainbow writing to making them with pipe cleaners... By far, his absolute FAVORITE way to practice words was this Secret Message activity:

Here's how it works:

1. Print & Prep - There isn't really too much to do to get this activity ready. Simply print the word cards on white card stock and laminate for durability. The cards MUST be printed in color for the activity to work!

2. Make or Buy a Decoder - Instructions for creating a decoder window from dollar store materials is included; all that you'll need is cards stock, glue, scissors and red cellophane. If you don't feel like making a decoder, it's also possible to purchase a decoder pretty cheaply.

3. Choose a Worksheet - Choose and print the recording sheet that is most appropriate for your students. There are many differentiated options as well as a blank option to be used with any set of 10 word cards from the pack.

4. Set Up & Teach the Center - The activity can be set up as either a Write the Room activity or a stationary literacy center; you decide what's best for you students! Show your students how the activity works; they'll catch on quickly and will actually be eager to read the hidden words!

Here's a clip of my son practicing his words in the dark before bed using a little red LED flashlight keychain as the decoder:

Still not sure about this activity? Try this Secret Message Sight Words SAMPLE pack that includes 10 Fry sight words and the recording worksheets. It's perfect for a mini literacy center!

To find other Secret Message activities, click on the pictures below:


Here are some of the things you might need in order to make or buy a red filter decoder: 


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