Word ladders are fun and engaging worksheets or posters that can have a profound affect for beginning readers. Word ladders give word lists a sense of order when presenting them to students. Students will find this easier to organize and compartmentalize how words relate to one another. They are helpful for reinforcing general phonics skills, letter patterns, and rhyming words. Students can read up or down the ladder to follow along. These worksheets will present students with the use of word ladders to learn various different word families.
The word ladder is sort of a game that teachers use to teach the letter patterns to the young students. This game also helps in enhancing the student's skills of phonics and rhyming with the help of reading, writing, and repetition. The word ladders help the young students to learn about the word families. If we take the example of the word family "at", many words come under this word family such as 'that, pat, cat, hat, rat, mat, sat'. Once they learn the word family "at", they get to use their phonics skill to determine the sounds of all the other words. They can easily read up and down the ladder and practice the words. Word ladders are great at helping in eradicating any phonetic frustrations. They also build phonics skills and spelling confidence. Eventually, students also build their self-esteem through it.
Word ladders were first introduced by Lewis Carroll. They became popular immediately. Caroll presented two ways of doing word ladders. One was to change only the one letter from the word. The other method was to add or subtract a letter from the word so that a new word could be formed. The word ladders of Lewis Caroll changed all the time. Lewis Caroll always let the people know which type of process he was using to do word ladders.
Word ladders can be done for 4 to 5 letter words. It is advisable to not use words bigger than this. It can also be done with 3 letter words but that is just too easy. In order to do it correctly, you will have to change exactly one letter from word to word. Changing more than one letter makes it really hard. It is also necessary that the position of the word is different from the last one while changing it.