Easy and Cheap Word Word and Writing Centers

Easy and Cheap Word Word and Writing Centers

This year, my grade partner and I have decided to try The Daily 5. After reading the book, I was very excited, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was overwhelmed. I felt that it would be so much work to get all of the materials together and to think of fun and creative word work and writing activities. After some research, thinking, and shopping, I came up with a few really cheap and easy activities. Even if you don’t use The Daily 5, these would be great center activities for kindergarten to second grade students.

Word Work

My students absolutely LOVE making words with these pretty stones. I created a Word Work Journal for each of my students with all of the Pre-K, K, 1st, and 2nd Grade Dolch words, and they just flip through their journal and pick the words they’d like to practice. I wrote the words in ABC order, so often they just do a page at a time. (It was also helpful when I taught ABC order.)

Easy, cheap, and engaging word work and writing centers to use in your classroom!

I don’t know if they like the stone or these colorful cubes better. These were an amazing find at the Dollar Tree, and if I see them again next year, I will be stocking up. SO many possibilities!

Easy, cheap, and engaging word work and writing centers to use in your classroom!

Everybody loves Tic Tac Toe! Students do three choices in a row for each word they are working on. This is great for working on sight words, spelling words, or vocabulary words. Click the picture below to download the Tic Tac Toe board for free from my free resource library for newsletter subscribers.

Easy, cheap, and engaging word work and writing centers to use in your classroom!

Work on Writing

Story Starter Journals

Buy a few journals and type or write a story starter on the front cover. Students read and copy the story starter and then use that to write a story. These journals are shared so the entire class can write in them throughout the year. After students finish their story, they can go back and read their classmates stories. Not only does this help them practice reading and writing, but it encourages them to try their best since their classmates will also be reading it.

Some examples of interesting story starters are:

When I grow up ____________

If I went into space _____________

The coolest thing I ever saw was _____________

This summer I will _____________

If I was an animal _____________

I wish I had ______________

If I could go back in time I would __________

Roll Out a Story Center

This fun dice center allows students to take a chance, roll some dice, and create an interesting story! You never know what story you might get! It could be a story about an elephant bowling on a pirate ship or a baby in the living room playing ball!

I created these story centers because I needed something that I wouldn’t have to worry about changing out throughout the year. This dice story center is great because students will “roll out” a different story every time! That means they won’t get bored which we all know is a huge bonus. It also makes students get creative as they might be presented with very strange and unusual writing topics. Students roll a die to decide who their character is, what the setting will be, and what the character is doing. They then use the choices to write a fabulous and creative story. You can purchase all 10 versions of this center at my TpT store for only $3.99. Just click on the picture above.


I hope you can use some of these ideas to create cheap, fun, and meaningful Word Work and Writing Centers/ Daily 5 stations.

Learn more about engaging your students with your writing instruction!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to like, comment, and share!


Use these easy, cheap, and engaging diy word work and writing centers in your classroom. You will love how versatile and your students will love how fun!


Primary Paradise

Primary Paradise

I have always had a passion for teaching and sharing with others and look forward to sharing my ideas with you!


  • Cecilia
    January 3, 2013 3:52 am

    I have been contemplating the Daily 5 so thank you for the wonderful post. I will be referencing it in the coming week.

    • Primary Paradise
      Primary Paradise
      January 3, 2013 10:21 am

      You’re so welcome Cecilia. I can tell you that it was a bit slow to start as you have to introduce each part and practice, and it takes a good deal of modeling, but it is SO worth it now. 🙂

  • Rachel
    January 3, 2013 5:00 am

    Can you tell me more about your word work journals? Do you have a post about them?

    • Primary Paradise
      Primary Paradise
      January 3, 2013 10:23 am

      Hi Rachel! Thanks for stopping by. I will write a post about my word work journals this weekend. Thanks for the idea!

    • Primary Paradise
      Primary Paradise
      January 6, 2013 11:42 am

      Rachel- a post is scheduled for tomorrow all about my word work journals. I hope it’s helpful, and if you have any further questions you can email me- primaryparadisetpt@gmail.com 🙂

  • Kayleigh
    January 3, 2013 4:19 pm

    I love any type of hands-on activities. I’m going to run over to the dollar store and see if they have any foam cubes!

    • Primary Paradise
      Primary Paradise
      January 4, 2013 2:52 am

      Kayleigh, I totally agree! Anything that is tactile is always more fun and a better learning experience. Good luck. I hope you find them!

  • Ann
    January 4, 2013 11:02 am

    I thought of your post today, Martha!! I was at the Deals store and they had valentine gems . Actually they are just plastic table scatter(not as nice as heavy gems) but they are just right for the upcoming holiday. They had a pretty pink which would be easy to write on and red ones. Each package has about 50 hearts. For a dollar a bag, I couldn’t go wrong!!

    • Primary Paradise
      Primary Paradise
      January 4, 2013 2:30 pm

      That sounds fabulous Ann! Let me know if your kids like them! 🙂

  • Trackback: Word Work Journals | My Primary Paradise
  • roomforatleastonemore
    January 7, 2013 3:44 pm

    Never thought of using all of those stones I’ve collected over the years (no longer in my bathrooms collecting dust LOL!) for this. I use them for math our firsties, but this is a great idea too!!! Thanks. I’ll be looking at the DG for cubes next time I go. LIKE!

    • Primary Paradise
      Primary Paradise
      January 8, 2013 2:46 am

      The stones I use were actually from the centerpieces at my wedding. There’s always some way to reuse everything! 🙂

  • Cyndie
    February 18, 2013 11:27 am

    LOVE these ideas! I love D5, but I always need something to beef up the work at Word Work and this is just the ticket! I think I’ll be hitting the dollar store today for sure!

    • Primary Paradise
      Primary Paradise
      February 18, 2013 12:26 pm

      Thanks so much! I <3 the dollar store- always so many great finds. I can tell you my kid's favorite is the stones. 🙂

  • Stephany
    February 18, 2013 12:31 pm

    Thanks! My kids will LOVE LOVE LOVE doing this during word work time!

    • Primary Paradise
      Primary Paradise
      February 18, 2013 1:28 pm

      You’re so welcome! 🙂

  • For the TeachersTami
    February 18, 2013 6:39 pm

    Great ideas! Thanks!

  • Lisa@Totally Writing
    February 18, 2013 7:30 pm

    I’m here from the Classroom Freebies linky and thank you so much for the word work ideas including the tic-tac-toe and writing starters!

  • Jennifer Weberman
    July 27, 2013 10:40 pm

    I just found this and am SO excited to use these ideas in my classroom!
    Thank you!

    • Primary Paradise
      Primary Paradise
      July 28, 2013 8:23 am

      So glad to help! 🙂

  • Trackback: Word Work Ideas for Upper Elementary | My Primary Paradise
  • Trackback: Kindergarten Word Work Ideas
  • Trackback: Classroom Reveal 2014-2015! In October… Oops!
  • Trackback: Centers: Year Long, Engaging Word Work & Writing Ideas for Teachers

Leave a Reply

Add your thoughts!