When I was finished, I asked them to take a peek at my sentence to see if they could figure out what was wrong. I told them that I did my best, and I sounded out my words. When I went to read it back, I read it very fast with no breath, as if it was one word. They thought this was quite funny. One friend said, "You read that way too fast." Then someone else said, "There is no space between your words." They were exactly right. I told them that if I wrote like this, it would look like one big word. We know that words are made by putting letters together. What I wrote looked like a bunch of letters together to form a really long word.
I re-wrote the sentence, this time putting space in between my words. As I was writing, I heard friends say, "there is the popcorn word I", and "There is the.." I told them they were correct, but then I asked why I didn't hear them say that when I wrote my first sentence. I told them it was the exact same words. They were correct when they said, "We couldn't see the popcorn words in the first sentence." We came to the conclusion that in order to read sentences, space was very important.
To show them how important space is, we wrote our weekend updates in a different way. First I had them turn and talk with each other about their weekends. Next, I gave them a blank piece of paper and told them to ONLY draw their picture. I explained that I would call them over and I would write their sentence on a sentence strip for them. I wrote these with NO space. We decided that it was too hard to read the sentence without space. To fix this, I cut up each word in the sentence. Their job was to take each of their words and put it back together to make a sentence, making sure that they left space between each word. They did AWESOME!!!! Although this was the first time we talked about space in between words, I think this was a concrete way to show them how important it was. Here are some examples of their hard work.
This lesson was a hit and the kids really understood the need for space. The best part of the lesson came as we were working on putting our sentences back together. I wrote one of the kids sentences without space and asked them what was wrong. They said it was missing space in between the words. Then, I heard a voice of one of the kids from behind me. "Words need bubble space too!" I didn't even know what to say except.. yes.. yes they do!