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Special Situations Lesson Idea: Letter and Word Discrimination


This activity helps the student learn to discriminate between easily-confused words or letters and helps students retain the words or letters.

Adapted from PULL – Project for Unique Learners in Literacy by LVA–Illinois, 1994.

  • Handout: Discrimination Grid.
  • Two words or letters your student confuses or has difficulty telling apart.
  • Print the chosen words or letters, one in each of the left and right boxes at the bottom of the Discrimination Grid. Fill out the rest of the grid with the two words in random order, with different capitalization patterns, some block printed, some cursive writing, etc.
  • Have your student place his or her left index finger on the left bottom square and right index finger on the right bottom square.
  • Pronounce each word in turn and have the student repeat it. The idea is to associate each word with either the right or left hand finger.
  • Now ask your student to "touch-read" the entire chart. Move the appropriate finger to touch each word as it is read, then return the finger to its bottom square.
  • Repeat until the student can read the chart fluently. Review and repeat the chart as often as necessary.
  • Keep a list of words or letters your student frequently confuses as he/she reads to make additional charts.
  • Optional: time the student and record the time. Have the student repeat this activity and try to improve on speed.
  • Example:
Left finger home
Right finger home
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