Saturday, August 25, 2007
Stage 2: Teaching a Child to Read - Blending
This is the most difficult step for a child. If you have been working with him every day and he cannot sound out a word, then take a break and go back to stage one for a month or so, and then try again. For word family lists, see the downloads section of this site (Phonics Games and Activites).
The first step in blending is word families. An example of this is "at" words like cat, sat, bat, fat. The games in this section focus on learning these words.
1. Word family flip books: A child will be ready for this after he is sounding out word endings ("at", "am", etc.). You will need scissors, index cards, a marker, a stapler, and a piece of construction paper. Pick a word ending (ex:“at”) and list the letters you will need to make complete words (ex: b, c, f, etc.). Cut out 1 ½ inch squares of paper and write each beginning letter on a square. Now, put these squares in a pile and staple them to one side of the index card. Write the word ending beside the squares. Now the child can “flip” through his book and sound out his short vowel words. See the downloads section of this site (Phonics Games and Activities) to get started on the first flip-book.
2. Word family card game: Using index cards, make a word ending card for a short vowel word. Then make beginning letter cards for all the letters to make the CVC words, by cutting index cards in half and writing each letter on a card. Turn over the letter cards so you can`t see the consonants. Have your child select one of the letter cards and put it next to the word ending card. If he reads correctly, he gets the card. If he doesn`t get it right, turn the card back over and add it back to the pile on the table. Continue playing until he has all the letter cards.
3. Word family spelling: You will need a magnet board and magnetic letters (ex: a, b, c, f, h, m, p, r, s, and t). Spell out a word for your child (ex: cat). Have him sound out the word. Now ask the child if they can spell another word (ex: pat). Continue this until the child has used all the letters and gone through all the words in the word family. Optional play: After the child has learned other word families, try two word families at once (ex: “ot” and “at” words). Start with a word (ex: cat) and ask the child if he can change the word to “cot”. (see word families at the end of this list)
4. Jumping Bean: After a child has learned all of the words in a word family, write those words on index cards. Place them face up on the floor. Say a word and see how fast your child can jump onto the card.
5. Bag of words: When a child has learned some short vowel words, he is ready for this game. You will need two Ziploc bags, index cards, scissors, and a pen. Cut ten index cards in half. On ten index cards write various word endings. On the other ten cards write letters to make words with the ending cards. Put the word endings in one bag and the letters in another. Have the child draw a card from each bag and make a word (even if it is a nonsense word, the sounding out and blending will be good practice). Another option is to play a two-player game: The first player takes a card from each bag, reads the word, and keeps it on the table in front of them. The next player does the same. Play continues in this fashion until all the cards are used up. Scoring: whoever has the most “real” words wins the game.
6. Mix and Match: You will need two sets of colored index cards. Pick one color for the vowels and write one vowel on each card. Use the other color to make consonant cards. Turn all the cards face down and spread them out a table. Have the child choose one vowel card, two consonant cards and try to make a word with them.
These games are a great way to supplement any phonics program you are using with your child. The next post in this series will discuss Sight Words.