Writing Practice With Silly Labels

My classroom’s writing center is usually fairly open-ended. But I often offer specific activities that I hope will spark my students’ interests. Encouraging creativity and silliness is one of the best ways to make writing enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I took some time to start making silly labels to hang up around the classroom. First, we read “This is a…” together. I introduced those three words as sight words, explaining that we’re going to try to remember the whole words, so that we don’t have to sound them out anymore. By this time of year, most of my students could already easily recognize ‘is’ and ‘a’ with ease, and about half knew ‘this’ as well.

Then, as a group, we chose some classroom objects and thought of some silly ways to misname them. The children helped me figure out what letters we would need to write the words we chose to write.


Do you need a place to sleep?


You didn’t think this was a globe, did you?

The following week, I made these simple labels (pdf) available in the writing center. The children came up with their own ways of labeling things in the room, and they did their best figuring out how to write their chosen words. Most of the labels were goofy, but some were literal, and some were pretty clever. For example, one student labeled a chair as “anteec” (antique). Below are a few of the sillier examples.


This table has a family of baby tables to care for.


It looks like a door, but knock too hard and you might get scratched.


No wonder this thing is so heavy.

By the end of the week, my students had gotten some good practice with phonics skills and writing skills, while making each other laugh. As an added bonus, they are now likely to recognize the word ‘this’ when they see it. It was a very easy activity to put together, well worth the time.

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