1. Overview

Introduce the use of letters in forming and reading three-sound words in the same word family. This is not a phonemic awareness activity. It is a look ahead at what phonemic awareness leads to for a child. We have included it here because previous games have taught your child the sounds they need to hear, count, and sequence to be able to read short CVC words (such as ham, that, and gum). Seeing how the lessons they have learned lead to reading is a major motivator for children. It is okay to skip over this lesson for now and revisit it later in the curriculum. At this point it is a special treat for children who are looking forward to being able to read.
sneak preview of reading
J15: Sneak Preview of Reading
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2. Materials

Print out the sound cards and the work mat, preferably on sturdy card-stock paper. Cut apart the sound cards. For the word work mat, trim off the white edges and tape the pages together. The word list is for the adult’s reference only. ↑ Top

3. Activity

Video: How to play Sneak Preview of Reading
Select two word stems that contain the same vowel, such as -an and -at. Gather all the sound cards needed for those word families (refer to the word list). Shuffle the cards and review them, flashcard style, to be sure your child remembers and can give the sound for each letter. Lay out these sound cards on the word work mat on top of the appropriate squares. Again, put out only the cards needed for these particular word families. Put the word work mat directly in front of your child. Now you are ready to introduce the game to your child. Start by having him help you to find the sound cards for the first word stem.
Adult: Today we are going to make some word families. I’ll help you build part of the family, and then you can build new words. The part we’ll do together is called the stem. Look at the mat, and help me find the /aaa/ card. Child: Here it is! Adult: Good. Say the sound, and put it here, in the middle box of this grid. [Point to blank squares at bottom of word work mat.] Child: /aaa/ [Moves card to middle box.] Adult: Now say /t/, and find the /t/ sound card to put in the last box. Child: /t/-/t/-/t/ [moves card to box]. Adult: You just helped me make the stem for our word family! Sometimes the stem is a real word, and sometimes it’s not. Say the sounds on these cards, starting here. [point to middle box] Child: aaa • • t Adult: Say those sounds fast, and tell me if they make a real word. Get ready. Child: aaat. aaat. At! That’s a real word. Adult: Yes, the stem for our word family is at.
Guide the child through the process of making words by adding initial sound cards to this word stem.
Adult: Find the /b/ sound card and put it in this first box. Child: [finds and moves /b/ card] Adult: Touch under these sound cards, starting here [point to first box], and say the three sounds in order. Child: b • • aaa • • t Adult: Say the sounds fast. What word? Child: baaat. baaat. Bat! Adult: Yes, the first word in our word family is bat. You just made a new word!
Explain to your child that by changing the beginning sound, he can make lots of words out of the word stem.
Adult: Put the /b/ sound card back. Then put the /c/ sound card in the empty box. Child: [Moves /b/ and /c/ cards.] Adult: Say the three sounds in order, starting with the /c/ card. Child: c • • aaa • • t Adult: Say the sounds fast. What word? Child: caaat. caaat. Cat! Adult: Yes, cat. You made another word to go in our word family!
Continue in this way through all the words in that word family. Within a word family, go through the words in alphabetical order, so the child gradually works his way through the consonant sound cards in order. Try to go through two word families in a session. Always have the child put the used sound cards back on their matching squares on the mat. Remind him to move from left to right in reading each word he makes. ↑ Top

4. Confidence Builder

  • Focus on just one word family in a session. Go through the words in that family several times to build the child’s speed and confidence.
  • Form the word stem for your child. Then have him add the beginning sound card for each new word.
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5. Extension

Within a word family, go through the words in a random, non-alphabetical order. The child will have to look harder for the right sound card. ↑ Top

6. Small Groups (2-5 children)

Lesson Objective: Using a work mat with letter sound cards as visual aids, children will build a word stem by matching letter cards to dictated phonemes, read a word formed by adding a beginning consonant letter card corresponding to an initial dictated phoneme, and substitute a new initial letter card matching a dictated initial phoneme to form and read new words. GELDS (Georgia Early Learning & Development Standards): CLL6.4f (This sound-symbol association reading activity exceeds the GELDS CLL standards.) Georgia Standards of Excellence: ELAGSEKRF2.e Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.E Additional Materials:
  • three-square strips for each child (like the grid at the bottom of the word work mat)
  • extra letter sound cards
  • optional: pocket chart (for displaying letter sound cards)
Adaptation: Read the main activity, watch the video, and follow the instructions above, with the following changes: Review the short vowel sounds. Give each child a strip divided into three squares. Provide each with a stem card for the middle and last square. Children can choose different cards for the first square. Let the children trade beginning sounds to find new words. Reinforcement: Place the work mat in a center. Let the children practice creating new words. Experiment with various children building different stems, whose sounds you dictate. Use this Reinforcement at Home form to tell parents and guardians how they can reinforce lessons outside the classroom. ↑ Top

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