Many of our young readers who start off in the beginning of the Phonics First® program still need a bit more support in phonemic awareness. Although students should have a good grounding in phonemic awareness before starting a formal phonics program, it’s always okay to weave in additional support as we start the beginning lessons.
The keyword for t is turtle, so we used a picture of a turtle for this activity. If you are working on a different lesson in Layer 1, simply find or draw a picture that matches the keyword for that lesson.
Write out 10 word cards that use the letter t, being careful to only include letters that have already been taught. For the phonemic awareness portion of this activity, the student interacts with the words and sounds without seeing them, working only with the auditory sound. The teacher will read a word without showing it. The student then pounds and fingertaps the word using the finger tapping hand. Then the teacher can ask questions such as, “Where do you hear the t sound? In the beginning, middle or end?” “What vowel sound do you hear in the beginning?”.
This activity helps students practice the phonemic awareness skills of segmenting and also listening for beginning, middle and end sounds which supports spelling skills.
After hearing the word and interacting with the word using phonemic awareness skills, hand the student the word card and have him glue it onto the turtle. This reinforces the phonics skill that the letter t makes a /t/ sound as in the word turtle.
Audrey Bon, A.B.Ed.
Audrey is a tutor at Brainspring Learning Center in Plymouth.