1. Overview

Blend the first sound (phoneme) together with the remainder of a spoken one-syllable word, but with no picture clues. This is the same activity as What’s My Word? Part 1 (F1), but with no picture cards to provide a visual clue.
word maker
/mmm/ • • /ap/ … WordMakers, make that word!
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2. Materials & Preparation

Print out the picture cards and sound cards, preferably on sturdy card-stock paper, and cut them apart. The word index and the list of starting sounds are for the adult’s reference. You will want to prop up the phoneme card for each round so that the child is looking straight at it. Lean it against a block or something so that it is angled appropriately. Before starting the game, do a quick review of the target sound:
Adult: Remember, this is how the /mmm/ sound looks when it is written down. Listen carefully: /mmmmm/. What’s the sound? Child: /mmm/. Adult: Yes, /mmm/. Now touch under it and say the sound with me. Get ready: [Touch under the card and say the sound in unison with the child.] Adult and Child: /mmm/. Adult: Once more, by yourself. Get ready: Child: [while touching card underneath letter] /mmm/. Adult: Good job saying the /mmm/ sound!
NOTE: When working with a stop sound (a.k.a. “quick and quiet” sound), like /b/, you may need to say the sound a few times to make sure the child hears you, like “/b/ /b/ /b/.” But when the child responds, she should just say the sound once. ↑ Top

3. Activity

Video: How to play Word Maker, Parts 1-3
Pick a starting sound (for example, /mmm/), and refer to the word list for suggested words starting with that sound. You will say the word to the child in two parts, separated by a one-second pause (written as • •), and he must combine them into a whole word.
Adult: I’m going to say this sound [point to the sound card] and some more sounds. You put the sounds together and tell me what word they make. Listen: [point to card] /mmm/ • • /ap/. Again: /mmm/ • • /ap/. What’s my word? Child: Map! Adult: Yes, /mmm/ • • /ap/ is map. Good job making the word!
Our word list has up to 30 words for each starting sound. Say the words for that starting sound, emphasize the starting sound, and have your child repeat each word back to you. Then go back and repeat any that the child struggled with. Pick five words from the list for that starting sound. Say each word in two parts. Have the child make the word from its parts, and then have him use the word in a sentence. This is a great way to review the skill of Creating Sentences. Keep returning to this activity until the child has covered all the starting sounds. NOTE: Have the child point under the letter on the sound card each time he combines your two spoken sound parts and says the whole word starting with that sound.

NOTE: Do not show the d sound card when going through the d pictures. Because the letters b and d look so similar, young children can be easily confused and have lots of trouble telling the two letters apart. So for now we will show only the b sound card and focus on teaching the child to hear the difference between /b/ and /d/.

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4. Schedule

You will do this activity with your child numerous times in order to familiarize the child with all the different consonant starting sounds. Introduce one new letter sound a day, according to the schedule in the table below.
Day Review Add
1 v d*
2 v, d l
3 v, d, l c
4 v, d, l, c f
5 d, l, c, f
6 f h
7 h p
8 h, p n
9 h, p, n g
10 h, p, n, g
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5. Confidence Builder

If the child struggles, try putting a shorter pause (written with bullet points) between the starting sound and the rest of the word as you say them.
Adult: Listen again: /b/ • • • /ake/. /b/ • • /ake/. /b/ • /ake/. What’s the word?
The “quick and quiet” letter sounds (b, c, d, g, h, j, k, p, t) are harder for a child to hear than the continuant consonants (f, l, m, n, r, s, v, w). The quick and quiet sounds may need to be repeated, as in /b/ /b/ /b/ [pause] /ake/, for your child to really hear what you’re saying. ↑ Top

6. Extension

Say a word you presented earlier in the lesson to the child. Have the child divide it into two parts (for example, /mmm/ and /ap/). This is essentially a reverse of the activity above. It requires the child to analyze and segment the word instead of blending it. ↑ Top

7. Small Groups (2-5 children)

Lesson Objective: Using a consonant letter card but no picture aids, children will hear the letter’s phoneme followed by the rest of a spoken, one-syllable word (onset-rime) and blend the two parts together into one spoken word. GELDS (Georgia Early Learning & Development Standards): CLL6.4f Georgia Standards of Excellence: ELAGSEKRF2.c Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.C Additional Materials:
  • Toy phone (or just use telephone hand gesture)
  • Chips or tokens to use as rewards and reinforcement for every correct answer a child gives (optional)
Adaptation: Read the main activity, watch the video, and follow the instructions above, with the following changes: Tell the children that your friend is calling you and giving you a list of words, but the phone connection is bad and her words are breaking up. You need their help to figure out the words she’s saying. Say the words, one at a time, in two parts. For example, “mmm…ilk.” Using the word list, ask children first as a group and then one at a time if they can figure out your friend’s word. Do the activity together, providing many opportunities for practice. Reinforcement: The teacher will whisper the two word parts to one child. The child will repeat aloud what the teacher whispers and ask the group to put the parts together and say the whole word. Use this Reinforcement at Home form to tell parents and guardians how they can reinforce lessons outside the classroom. ↑ Top

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