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Sports Day Circuit Training…applying phonics with a twist

With the  World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Wimbledon fast approaching, it’s the perfect time of year to use sports to inspire reading and writing- particularly for those children who love to be active. This month The Learning Lady is sharing a simple circuit training warm up activity which the children will be able to play over and over again throughout  the Summer Term.

Circuit Training

A great game to practically apply the tricky word ‘do’

Learning Objectives:                                                                                                          

To blend to read simple words

To read simple sentences

What you need

A large blank die

A collection of PE equipment set out as if for circuit training to include; hoops, quoits, 5 minute and 1 minute timers, skipping ropes, spoons and pretend eggs, bench (this will depend upon the game cards you decide to use.

circuit training game cards add the appropriate sentences to the faces of the die

A digital camera / IPad


What to do

Remind the children of the letters and sounds they have been practising during discrete phonics sessions. Use resources suited to outdoors e.g. magnetic or pvc letters if you can.

Model the reading process using the words cards to match the action sentences chosen. Point to each letter as the children join in with saying each sound, blending the sounds to read the whole word all together.

Practise reading the action sentences added to the die all together. The children will probably need the process of rereading the sentence after the blending of each new word demonstrating in detail.

Explain that the children are going to take it in turns to roll the die . All of the children will read the instruction on top then join in with the action from the circuit specified.

Expect the children to read and join in with all of the actions  all together. Set a time limit (using the timers) on some of the activities if you need to- this will be determined by how long the children can concentrate for.

Take photographs of the children in action to be used in a following writing session or to inspire independent work.

Play can continue in this way for as long as the children enjoy the activities and have completed all of the ‘stations’ on the circuit.


Optimized-2014-06-02 11.29.02


Encourage less able children with plenty of adult support, matching the sentences carefully to their developing needs. For children who are still struggling to read in a sentence, add the single words to the die and use a five minute timer as a marker for how long before rolling the die again.

Challenge more able children by providing them with sentences including more complicated phonemes or longer words.

The Sweet Smell of Success!

Can the children…

  • Maintain attention and concentration to complete the circuit? With support?
  • Follow the simple instructions of the activity? With support?
  • Take turns when playing? With support?
  • Recognise all of the letters and the sounds that they make? With support?
  • Blend to read the words on the cards? With support?
  • Read a simple sentence? With support?

Learning Lady Top Tip

“This learning is really active and a great warm up for sports day activities (to say nothing of engaging some of the reluctant readers). Leave a set of dice and the resources outside for lots of child initiated practise, encouraging independence by allowing the children to photograph / film one another then play back as an action replay  in slow motion.”

Want more ideas just like this?

Sign up for The Learning Lady  free e-newsletter (above) for top tips, activity ideas and training updates

Visit my store (above) and look inside The Box of Tricks and Let’s Investigate for even more inspiration!


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