The letter Y has so many sounds, it’s no wonder our students stumble on it! In this activity, letter Y turns into a chameleon. Just like a chameleon changes its color depending on where it lives, Chameleon Y changes its sound depending on where it “lives” in a word. We take it up a notch and discover a treat Chameleon Y enjoys, and it’s not the typical “fly.”
The Y as a Chameleon chart is a helpful tool to organize the sounds the letter Y can make in one spot. It can help students understand when the letter Y makes different sounds in different types of words. When a new Chameleon Y sound is introduced, students can look forward to a fun story of why it makes the sound it does.
Here is an example of a fun story and activity you could give when introducing Y as the long I sound:
Chameleon Y generally likes to eat a fly for a snack. Letter Y at the end of a one syllable word says the long I sound, such as “fly”. On occasion, however, Chameleon Y really likes to splurge. She may indulge in a french fry, or maybe even a few. Let’s listen to some words that have the long I sound at the end. If the word is one syllable, and we hear the long I sound at the end, the word in most cases is spelled with Chameleon Y at the end.
As you say words, have students listen for the Y as Long I sound, trying to identify the spelling rule. Students can hold their fry carton, and give Chameleon Y a fry for every word that applies to this spelling rule. Below is an example …
fly, try, my, shy (feed the chameleon a fry for each of these words)
If the word ends in Y, but the student does not hear the long I sound at the end, the chameleon does not feed another fry (baby, today, etc.).
Written by Angelina Spiteri-Bender, CDP
Angelina is an Instructor with Brainspring Educator Academy. She is also the director of Brainspring’s Grosse Pointe Learning Center.
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