Using phonics to teach your child to read is the first step to making them independent readers. See how CVC words can help build their confidence at the outset.
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” — Emilie Buchwald
For children to start reading, parents have to first understand how to teach reading to kids. First step to reading is understanding the sounds of each letter. You can refer to this article for more details on sounds Learning Phonics the fun way at home
The second step is blending of words. Blending is the process of saying the individual sounds in a word, then running them together to make the word. For example: sounding out /b/-/a/-/t/ making bat. It is a technique every child will need to learn and it improves with practice.
We will start with blending of CVC words (consonant-vowel-consonant). As the name suggests, CVC words are made up of two consonants and one vowel. The vowel is found between two consonants.
To start with you should sound out the word and see if a child can hear it, giving the answer if necessary. The sounds must be said quickly to hear the word. It is easier if the first sound is said slightly louder.
Once the children can hear the word when an adult says the letter sounds, they are ready to try saying the sounds for themselves and listen to the word.
The children who can hear the words understand how the alphabetic code works for reading. They realize that it is something they can work out for themselves. This knowledge fascinates them and their confidence grows.
Let us look at some fun activities on blending CVC words
1. Walk the word
Image courtesy: Coffeecupsandcrayons
One of our favorite ways to play with phonics is the Walk the Word game! Children get to use their whole body to practice identifying and blending sounds together. Adding the gross motor aspect to it helps children to internalize the process of sounding out a word.
How to play
This game is simple to set up and easy to play! All you need is a sidewalk chalk and a place to draw. Write easy decodable (sound-out-able), very large words on the concrete. Ask the child to start at the side you start reading at. Then have them step on each letter and say the sound. Prompt them or give them the sounds if needed (this is a game not a test) and have fun walking and reading the words!
Image courtesy: kidsactivitiesblog
3 small size spiral diaries
A card board
How to play
Stick the 3 diaries on the cardboard. On the first and third diary write all the consonants, on the second diary write all the vowels. Let children flip the pages and read the word. The point of the phonics flipchart is not so much to “spell” words, but to practice sounding out words. “P-A-G” is not a word, but the practice of sounding it out can help our children in future words, helping them grasp the concept of letters and how they form words.
3. Cube game
Take the printout of the printable cube. Follow the instructions given on the page to form a cube. First roll the cube with initial sound, then the middle vowel and at last final sound. Ask the child to now sound out the word.
4. Stamping a word
Image courtesy: icanteachmychild
Play dough or wheat flour dough and alphabet stamps.
How to play
Parents can sound out the word and children can form the word by stamping the letters on the dough.
5. Spin and Read
Image courtesy notimeforflashcards
Paper towel roll, dry cleaner hanger, scissors and a marker.
How to play
Cut your paper towel roll into sections. Write the ending sound of a word on a section. Now write letters or the first sounds of words on another piece of cut tube. You can throw in some weird ones that will not make words, to get some giggles, too. Pull out one end of the hanger from the bar. Slide your tube pieces on and replace the hanger end back inside the bar. Now your child can spin the first letter (or sound) of the word to make different words.
6. Play I spy
Play a new variation to the children’s favourite game. Play I spy by sounding out the name of the object you are looking at. Children have to blend the sounds together to determine the object.
For example: I spy something that is moving. I spy a /c/ /a/ /t/
I spy something that is spread on the floor. I spy a /m/ /a/ /t/
For most of the children it is relatively easy. However some children find it difficult and need to be taught exactly what to do. There are two main reasons for a child not being able to hear the word when they have said the sounds.
They do not know the letter sounds well enough. As soon as they see a letter, the sound should come automatically to them. If they have to pause to think, they lose track of the word. To put this right, it is necessary to revise the sounds regularly with children.
The way the letter is emphasized by the children. The emphasis should be on the first letter sound. If the child puts emphasis on the last letter sounds, they may try to start the word with those sounds and fail to hear the word.