1. Overview

“Snap” a sound onto the beginning of a word to make a completely new word. Your child will take a two-sound word, and add a sound at the beginning to create a word with three sounds (phonemes). NOTE: This activity is about counting and ordering the sounds in words. It is not about spelling!
snap it on first sound
J4: Snap It On: First Sound
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2. Materials

Print out the word list, mat and sound counting cards, preferably on sturdy card-stock paper. Cut apart the sound counting cards. The word list is for the adult’s reference only. Set the mat in front of the child, with the sound counting cards next to it. ↑ Top

3. Activity

Video: How to play Snap It On: First Sound
Explain to your child how you can have one word and then add a sound to the beginning of it, “snapping it on,” to make a brand new word. Review dividing words into individual sounds, and emphasize counting the sounds.
Adult: Sometimes you can snap a sound onto the beginning of a word to make a brand new word. Let me show you how. Listen to my word: aim. “I aim the dart at the bullseye.” Aim. What word? Child: Aim! Adult: Now I’ll say aim a sound at a time, and you count the sounds I say. Get ready: āāā* • • • mmm. How many sounds did you hear? Child: Two! Adult: Yes, two. Now you say aim slowly, a sound at a time, and tell me how many sounds you say. Get ready: Child: āāā • • • mmm. I said two sounds!
Now show the child how to use the mat and sound counting cards to mark how many sounds she hears in a word.
Adult: That’s right, two sounds. Put one of these cards in the top row on the house, one card for every sound you say in aim. Start here. [Point to top left “window.”]             Say the first sound as you put down your first card. Child: āāā. [Puts down first sound counting card.] Adult: Say the next sound in aim. Child: mmm. Adult: Yes, mmm. Keep saying that sound while you put a card in the window next to the āāā card. [Point to correct “window.”] Child: mmm. [Puts down second sound counting card.] Adult: Now point under each card and say the sounds for aim. Child: āāā [points to first card] mmm [points to second card] Adult: Now, say those sounds fast. What’s the word? Child: Aim! Adult: Good job.
Then demonstrate the same technique for counting the sounds in a three-sound word. This three-sound word is actually the two-sound word she just analyzed, but with a new sound “snapped” onto the beginning to make a new word.
Adult: Listen to me say a new word: game. “This is a fun game.” What’s the first sound you hear in game? Listen: g-g-g • • āāā • • mmm. Again: g-g-g • • āāā • • mmm. Child: /g/. Adult: Yes. Keep saying that sound as you put a card here. [point to bottom left “window”] Child: g-g-g. [Puts down sound counting card.] Adult: What’s the next sound you hear in game, after the g-g-g sound? Child: āāā! Adult: Yes, now slide your āāā card in aim down from the top window to the bottom window, so that it comes right after the g-g-g card. Child: [moves card] Adult: What sounds are on the bottom row now? Point to the cards and tell me their sounds. Always start here. [Point to bottom left “window.”] Child: g-g-g [points to first card] āāā [points to second card] Adult: What sound do you hear in game that you still need? Say it slowly to stretch out the sounds. Get ready: Child: g-g-g • • āāā • • mmm. I need mmm. Adult: Yes, mmm. So slide your mmm card in aim down from the top window to the bottom window, so that it comes right after the āāā card. Child: [moves card] Adult: Now point to each card in the bottom row and say its sound, in order. Always start here. [Point to bottom left “window.”] Get ready. Child: g-g-g [points to first card] āāā [points to second card] mmm [points to third card] Adult: Point to each card again and say the sounds fast. What’s the word? Child: g-āāā-mmm. Game! Adult: Yes! You snapped a sound onto the beginning of the word aim, and made a new word: game.
Have the child remove the sound counting cards from the mat to get ready for the next round of the game. “Snap” sounds onto about ten words from the provided word list.

NOTE: A line above a vowel (for example, ā) indicates that it is the “long” vowel sound, which is the same as the vowel’s name.

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4. Confidence Builder

  • Use only 4-5 words per session, and repeat them several times to build the child’s understanding of the activity.
  • Use only words with continuant consonant sounds (e.g., sail, name, zone).
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5. Extension

After the child has successfully “snapped” a sound on to make a new word, try having her remove the first sound counting card from the bottom row of the work mat and say the original two-sound word again. ↑ Top

6. Variation

At the end of a round, have the child remove the first sound counting card from the bottom “window” and say the remaining word (which is the two-sound word she started with) before removing all the sound counting cards. ↑ Top

7. Small Groups (2-5 children)

Lesson Objective: Using manipulatives and a counting mat for visual aids, children will hear a two-phoneme spoken word, correctly order the phonemes, and add a new initial phoneme to the original word to form a new word. GELDS (Georgia Early Learning & Development Standards): CLL6.4f Georgia Standards of Excellence: ELAGSEKRF2.e Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.E Additional Materials:
  • enough work mats and sound counting cards for each child
  • optional: pocket chart
Adaptation: Read the main activity, watch the video, and follow the instructions above, with the following changes: Warm up by asking children if they have jackets or shirts with snaps on them. Explain that they are going to snap a sound onto the beginning of a word to make a brand new word. Do the activity as a group. Demonstrate how to place the sound cards on the mats as you say the sounds. When the children have a grasp of the concept, give each one a work mat and three sound cards. Have the children verbalize the phonemes as they manipulate their counters on their mats. Use words from the word list to provide many opportunities for practice. Reinforcement: Repeat the activity using new words from the list, until you have covered all the words. Use this Reinforcement at Home form to tell parents and guardians how they can reinforce lessons outside the classroom. ↑ Top

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