1. Overview

Compare two short words, identify the vowel sound in each, and decide whether the two vowel sounds match. Although this activity focuses on vowel sounds, it is also a good opportunity to review beginning sounds and ending sounds (the consonant sounds).
snatch a match
J12: Snatch a Match
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2. Materials & Preparation

Print out the vowel sound cards and picture cards and the Egbert picture, preferably on sturdy card-stock paper. Cut apart the vowel sound cards and picture cards. The word index at the end of the picture cards is for the adult’s reference only. ↑ Top

3. Activity

Before starting the game, go through the picture cards with your child to be sure she is using the correct word for each picture (e.g., cab instead of taxi). Lay out the sound cards in a line in front of the child (in alphabetical order from left to right). Do a quick review of the short vowel sounds by singing Part 2 of the Bingo Vowel Song. Display the Egbert picture as a visual reference for the child while she is playing the game. Remind her who Egbert is, “aaan eeegg iiin ooodd uuunderpants.” NOTE: As you say the vowel sounds in this activity, pronounce them carefully and stretch them out. Children particularly have trouble learning to hear the difference between /eee/ and /iii/.
Video: How to play Snatch a Match
With the vowel sound cards laid out in front of the child, shuffle the picture cards and divide them into two face-down stacks.
Adult: Turn over the top card in each stack. Go ahead. Now say the name of each picture. Child: bed and bug Adult: Good. Now your job is to decide if they have the same smart letter vowel sound in the middle. Say the words again. Child: bed, bugAdult: Say each word slowly so you can hear each sound. Like this: beeed, buuug. Child: beeed, buuug. No, they don’t have the same smart letter sound. Adult: That’s right. What’s the smart letter sound in bed? Child: /eee/ Adult: And what’s the smart letter sound in bug? Child: /uuu/ Adult: Right. Since the smart letter sounds don’t match, put the cards in a new stack, with the pictures facing up.
Non-matching cards can be put in a “used” pile off to the side. When you get to the bottom of the face-down stacks, shuffle the used cards and divide them into two face-down stacks to be re-used.
Adult: Now turn over the next two cards. What are the pictures? Child: ham and map Adult: Do they have the same smart letter sound in the middle? Say the words again, slowly. Child: haaam, maaap … yes, they’re the same! Adult: What’s the smart letter sound in ham and map? Say it and point to the sound card. Child: /aaa/ [points to a card] Adult: Yes, /aaa/. So you have a match! You get to hold onto the matched pictures. When we play the game, if you think the two pictures have the same smart letter sound in the middle, say “Snatch a Match!” Then tell me the matching sound and point to its sound card. If you’re right, you get to keep the two cards. If you’re wrong, you put the cards in the used pile.
The four cards with our SightWords.com eye logo are wild cards. If your child turns over a picture card and a wild card, she can count them as a matched pair (after identifying the middle vowel sound for the picture card). Or you can leave the wild cards out if you like. Go through at least 20 pairs of picture cards in a session. Make sure that the cards you use include examples of all five vowels. ↑ Top

4. Confidence Builder

Reduce the number of vowels in the picture card set to just two or three. Put out only the vowel sound cards that are in that edited picture set. ↑ Top

5. Extension

  • Have the child pronounce all three sounds (phonemes) in each of the two words. Then she can decide if the middle vowel sounds match. Leave out the wild cards so there are no “freebie” matches.
  • See how many matches the child can make in three minutes. Then challenge her to play again and try to beat her previous record.
  • Have your child look at the vowel sound picture cards and try to substitute the vowel sound in the word with a different vowel sound. This will result in many amusing nonsense words. You can point to the vowel sound picture to be used, or the child can do so. Be sure she matches the vowel sound with its corresponding sound card.
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6. Variation

The primary purpose of this game is to find matching vowel sounds, but you can also encourage the child to look for matching beginning sounds or ending sounds. ↑ Top

7. Small Groups (2-5 children)

Lesson Objective: Using pictures of CVC words, children will hear the names and say the medial vowel phoneme in two pictured items, determining if their medial vowel sounds match. GELDS (Georgia Early Learning & Development Standards): CLL6.4f Georgia Standards of Excellence: ELAGSEKRF3.d Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.D Additional Materials:
  • bag or box
  • two paper plates, one with a smiley face, one with a frowny face
  • optional: pocket chart (for displaying vowel sound cards, picture cards and Egbert)
Adaptation: Read the main activity, watch the video, and follow the instructions above, with the following changes:
  • Adaptation 1:Have Child A turn over the first picture card. Child B then turns over the second picture card and compares the two words. If they match, Child B says “Snatch a match!” and keeps them. If they don’t match, Child B puts the cards in the used pile and turns over the first picture card of the next round. Child C then turns over the second picture card and decides whether or not they match, etc.
  • Adaptation 2: Display the picture cards. Review the vowel sounds, and name each picture card. Place the cards in a bag or box. Put the paper plates on the table or on the pocket chart. Have each child draw two picture cards from the bag. Group members say the names of each picture, slowly and in unison. If the vowel sounds match, place them on the smiley-face plate. If they do not match, place them on the frowny-face plate.
  • Put the game in a center for independent or partner practice.
  • Challenge children to create a sentence using the two words for the picture cards.
Use this Reinforcement at Home form to tell parents and guardians how they can reinforce lessons outside the classroom. ↑ Top

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