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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Word Detective Center FREEBIE!

I love centers that are easy to use over and over again with only slight changes. For me, my Word Detective (or Book Detective) center is just that. This wasn't an original idea of mine, as there are adorable Word Detective books at Patton's Patch and at Ladybug's Teacher Files, but I did change it up a bit.

Word Detective is a center where I ask students to find a certain kind of word. Sometimes it's a part of speech we've been learning about. Sometimes it follows the spelling pattern we are learning about. We can look for plural nouns, linking verbs, ee/ea words, possessive nouns, onomatopoeia... anything!

I have them look in books, but you can also let kids move around the room and look for words on the word wall, on labels, and anywhere in the room you have words posted!

Finding the right format did take me some time. As cute as the books above are, I wanted to be able to be able to grade them a little easier, so I switched to just a page. I plan on keeping my copies in a laminated manila folder with the flaps cut off and a red "CASE FILE" stamp on it!

The nice thing about this center is that the kids always know what to do, and they just have to check what they are looking for each week. (And it applies to almost ANY kind of word we might be learning about!)

Next year, to simplify the process even more, I plan on laminating this "Word Detective" sign so I can just write in the new thing to find each week with a dry erase marker. I can make lots of copies of the recording sheet ahead of time and only have to change this ONE thing each week. SUCH an easy literacy center (or literacy workstation, or Word Work activity!

I made the center a bit more fun by adding little magnifying glasses! (So much more fun to be a 'detective' with magnifying glasses!)

You can find 12 of these for less than 3 dollars at Wal-Mart in the party supply section.

I recently showed this center (and my others) to a co-worker who found another way to make it fun! Now, clearly, I don't have a 2nd-grade-sized head, but look at this adorable detective's hat! I hope my 3rd graders are still young enough to have fun with this!

And- so sweet- when my friend bought these, she got two for me, too!

I love my co-workers! :)
(And low-maintenance literacy centers for word work!)
Click here or on the pictures to get your freebie- copies of my Word Detective center sign and recording sheet.


  1. I had my kids do this in the past when they read the room. I like that you made them word detectives :) I will be adding this to my word work activities!

  2. What a fun activity with the magnifying glasses! My kids would love this! Thanks for sharing! :)

    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  3. Thank you for linking up at TBA!
    I can't wait to use this with my summer school students1
    I'm your newest follower!
    Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas!

  4. I love the Word Detectives idea! I have it downloaded for next year. Thanks! :)

    Mrs. Heeren's Happenings

  5. I'm definitely about to start using this in Word Work! I really like your idea to have them search for specific spelling patterns because I now have to teach spelling/phonics through THRASS, an Australian/UK program that I had never even heard of before moving to my current school. Thanks so much for sharing, Jenny!
    - Amanda

  6. I love, love, love this. I will be using it this year for sure. Thank you so much for sharing.


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