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Have fun and learn with these short dictations for elementary school children

Have fun and learn with these short dictations for elementary school children


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If there is a school routine that I have not forgotten (nor will I forget no matter how the years go by) it is to do dictations. Since I can remember and until I was quite old (or, at least, I already thought I was older) my teachers gave me a little dictation when I started language class. So, I wondered why we had to do so many, but now I know the answer… because they are very enriching!

Therefore, in Guiainfantil.com we have made a small compilation with short dictations designed for primary school children. We have grouped them by courses to make it easier for you to find the perfect exercise for your little one.

This is all you will find in this post dedicated to dictations for children

  • 8 steps to making the perfect dictation for kids
  • Types of dictations for your students
  • Dictation ideas for first grade
  • Exercises designed for second graders
  • So should be the dictations for third grade
  • Review spelling with fourth grade students
  • Dictation for fifth-grade children
  • Activities taught for children in sixth grade

Whether you are a teacher who wants to work on writing with his elementary students or if you are a parent who wants to help his son with school subjects, you have to try dictation exercises. It is a very complete activity that helps children in various ways. These are some of its benefits.

- Review spelling and grammar
As much as we teach children the theory (and sing the main rules of spelling and grammar aloud) there is no better way for them to learn it than by putting it into practice. And a wonderful way to do it is through dictation. Look for texts (here we propose many from which you can choose) that contain challenging words to help them review the rules of the course they are in.

- Promote listening comprehension
Children must learn to listen and understand what they hear and dictation is the most useful exercise for this. And it is that children need to understand the words that are being dictated to them and then write them.

- Work the ability to concentrate
Children must be very focused so as not to lose any of the words in the dictation and to write them correctly. This activity will allow them to work their attention.

- Learn vocabulary
Dictation is a good excuse for children to learn new words. Therefore, we can introduce new language or more complicated words in the texts that we dictate to them.

- Improve fluency in writing
Dictation is the perfect opportunity for children to learn to write in a more fluent way. And it is that, by dint of having to write at the rate that they are being dictated, they will learn to write faster and faster. Surely this skill will be essential in a few years, when they have to write notes from teachers.

- Working with calligraphy
Although we cannot expect that the handwriting that the children make in the dictations will be the most perfect, since they will have to write with some diligence so as not to get lost in the dictation, their penmanship will improve with practice.

- Learn from mistakes
The goal of the dictations is for children to review some words or spelling rules that they do not know or have missed. Therefore, this activity proposes an interesting lesson that can be exported to the rest of children's lives: from mistakes you can learn (and a lot). Also, dictations encourage self-correction.

As we have tried to explain so far, dictations have many advantages for children. But to be a very useful activity, it must be done well. And this is where parents and teachers should pitch in. Here are the steps to follow to make these exercises profitable.

Step 1. Prepare the dictation well
Not all texts are valid for all children. Therefore, it is not advisable to take any book that we have at home, open it to any page and read any paragraph. If we propose too complicated texts to children, we can cause frustration and rejection. Therefore, it is better to take the appropriate text for your age and what you are studying at the moment.

Step 2. Propose an attractive challenge to the child
The text we choose for dictation should be a little challenge (that is affordable) for the little ones. In this way, we will be able to motivate you to do it with enthusiasm. To do this, we must look for dictations that contain some complicated word that allows them to learn something new or that talk about a topic that they like.

Why not make, for example, dictations about the child's own life (each day of one of the school students), of their favorite superheroes or of the lyrics of the current trend song.

Step 3. Be patient and dictate slowly
Keep in mind that your students do not write as fast as you do and that it is not necessary to carry them with their tongue out during the entire exercise. For this reason, and to improve children's understanding, we recommend that you read the dictations calmly.

Step 4. Emphasize it!
Why use a monotonous tone when reading when you can grab children's attention by making it a little more fun. Try to find a tone of voice that is not soporific. It may also be a good idea to emphasize more complicated words, accentuation, or punctuation marks so that children will notice them more.

Step 5. Repeat the dictation
Surely you will agree with me: everyone deserves a second chance. And your students may even need a third. Therefore, we recommend that you repeat the dictation a few times, taking into account its length and the difficulty of the text.

You can read it the first time at a normal speed, so that the children hear (without writing) what the dictation is about; a second in which they are already writing the words; and a third in which you read it a little faster in case they have missed a word to write.

Step 6. Correct the dictation out loud
Once they have written it (they sure have done it wonderfully), it is time to correct the exercise. To do this, you can ask one child to read it aloud and another to write it on the board. Other days, you can ask the children to give you the notebook so that you can correct it yourself ...

The important thing is to involve the child in the correction so that he understands what your mistakes have been.

Step 7. Question Time
This may be one of the most important steps for children to learn dictation. Encourage them to ask all the doubts that have arisen and take the opportunity to explain (or repeat) the spelling and grammar rules that you have applied in the text.

Step 8. Let's keep having fun!
Why not end the dictation with a fun follow-up activity? You can ask the children to draw a picture about the theme of the exercise, you can sing a related song (and dance throughout the class), you can read a story about the topic or maybe recite a poem ...

At this point you may be wondering ... ‘And what text do I take to dictate?’. You should know that there are as many types of dictations as options occur to you. Here are some ideas for you.

Dictation in verse
You can take a short poem by a famous author, or a poem that you make up, and transform it into a dictation. This is a nice way to introduce children to the verse format and get to know the poetic genre better.

Children's story texts
Children will love that you take out the dictations of their favorite stories. Therefore, you can choose different texts from different books that have an appropriate language for the age of your children or students.

Famous quotes
Take interesting famous quotes and present them to the children as a dictation exercise. It is an excellent activity for, in addition to everything that this type of exercise contributes, to talk to children about a specific author and invite them to reflect on his words.

Made-up texts about his life
Although the above models are very appropriate, sometimes you do not have to go so complicated to make a dictation that is attractive to children. It can be as simple as inventing a text that talks about the child's own life (about his siblings, his tastes, his house, his parents ...). In case of doing it in class, it may be a good idea to make a different child the protagonist every day.

Dictate your own spelling rule
A great way for children to memorize the spelling rules is by dictating the rule itself. However, we must be careful not to repeat this formula too much as it can be boring.

Dictated by pairs
To get out of the monotony, you can make pairs and have one child dictate the other. Or perhaps, one of the students will dictate it to the rest of the class.

It seems that the theory is clear… let's go to practice! If you need inspiration to make short dictations that are really useful for your students, take a look at the proposals that we make below according to the primary grade they belong to.

Dictation ideas for first grade

In this batch of dictations we practice the use of the 'r' and the 'rr', as well as the upper and lower case and the 'f'.

1. Enrique wants to be a pirate with a parrot on his shoulder. He has already thought that he will be called Tick and he will shout from the rooftops: Grrr!

2. Carla is a good friend of Jimena, but she doesn't like to go to her favorite restaurant, 'The blue bird'.

3. My family loves noodle soup. My uncle Fabio says it looks fabulous.

In Guiainfantil.com we have compiled many more dictations for children in first grade. Don't miss them!

Exercises designed for second grade children

In the second grade of primary school, children learn to differentiate between the 'c' and the 'q', to use 'm' before 'p' and 'b' and use sounds like 'gr' or 'br'.

4. Carlota the hen lives in the forest. Did you know that her favorite food is cheese? Although for dessert he prefers cherry and plum salad.

5. Field, Pump, Shoulder, Time ... If you look closely, you will see that in front of the 'b' and the 'p', it is written 'm'.

6. Thanks to the crickets that sing and the fireflies that shine, I feel accompanied at night.

Enjoy with these other dictations for second grade children.

So should be the dictations for third grade

In third grade, dictations are a bit more difficult. We propose dictation exercises for children to practice the 'b' (with the sounds 'bu', 'bur' and 'bus'), the words ending in '-ava', 'avo', 'ivo', etc. and the enumerations.

7. The witches of Brussels make concoctions full of bubbles. Are they looking for a love spell?

8. Your grandmother's merry-go-round is broken. What a pity! Let's think positive, so you can buy a new one.

9. When you go to the supermarket buy: eggs, lettuce, cookies, tomato, bath gel and a broom.

If you want to continue working with your third grade students, use these short dictations.

Review spelling with fourth grade students

We continue to work with the students on spelling standards. Below you will find exercises on the difference between 'c' and 'z', on words ending in 'z' and 'd' and punctuation marks.

10. The boy asked his mother why fish don't wear shoes. It would be a lot of fun!

11. The word happy ends in z, but happy leads to c. But vanity ends in d, just like vanities.

12. When do we go on excursions? Morning! How good! If I find out, I'm staying home today.

We have a few more dictations for fourth grade. Take note!

Dictation for fifth-grade children

Now we are going with the dictations for the fifth graders. With them we will learn the accentuation of the words esdrújulas, acute and flat.

13. The most famous tunics of the priest of Córdoba are pale blue. He was a bit scrawny, but his classic style made him famous throughout the parish.

14. Joaquín's accordion had a heart embroidered on the ribbon. I would want one the same for my comforter!

15. The bandit stole the amber that was next to the computer. How clever he was!

Look at the rest of the short dictations for fifth graders.

Activities taught for children in sixth grade

If you have sixth grade students, give them these short dictations. We review the hiatuses and diphthongs, the use of the prefixes 'in' or 'im', and the use of the 'b' and the 'v'.

16. María has many books by famous poets in her trunk. He wants to read them all before the corn grows.

17. It's awesome! I try to eat more fruit but I don't always get it.

18. When we are on vacation in Valencia, I always try to see my grandparents, who live in a nearby town. Did you know they have a sailboat? I love going sailing on summer mornings. What if we travel to Barcelona?

And we end this compilation with these short dictations for children in sixth grade. Good dictations!

You can read more articles similar to Have fun and learn with these short dictations for elementary school children, in the category of on-site writing.


Video: The Teachers Room: Dictation activities part 2 (May 2022).