Marlee Davis
Beginning Reading

Food For Fun

Students must have prior exposure to identifying and isolating individual phonemes before they can move on to accurately blend phonemes. Children who are able to blend phonemes also possess the ability to hear and identify syllables in words. In this lesson, I aim to have students understand that the syllables they hear in words "blend" together to form those words. Blending phonemes is a critical part of learning how to read. Children cannot read if they cannot blend.

· Dry erase board / dry erase markers
· Multiple copies of Green Eggs and Ham book by Dr. Seuss/ published by Random House (this should be a familiar book to them, so have them read in pairs ­ do not read out loud to them)
· Keys (real or paper)
· Small paper cups
· Chart paper with a list of food items
· Flash cards in the shape of food items with beginning letters of h, f, c, r, b, and whatever other ones you want. Other cards will have endings such as ake, am, ork, ice, eans, and so on.

1. Begin the lesson by buddy reading, Green Eggs and Ham. Lead a class discussion about the different foods that were in the book. You can even get into a fun discussion about whether the students like to eat eggs and ham.
2. Write the following words on the dry erase board (one at a time):  eggs, ham, car, Sam, fork, train. Ask the students to read each word after you have written each one on the dry erase board (do one at a time and allow them time to read each word.). Example, write eggs down. Then, pause and give them time to read the word and proceed to the next. Do each word you write just like this.
3. After you say each word and all of them are on the board, randomly pick some of the words to manipulate phonemes and ask questions. For example, take the word , Sam and ask the students what will happen if we take the /s/ sound off of the word. Now ask them to tell you what the word says now? Am. Repeat this with a couple other words on your list.
4. Now we are going to have a little fun with practicing blending. Take the chart paper that holds the names of different food items out. Have the students come to the front of the classroom and stand up. "We are going to play a Food Chant game". (Phonemic Awareness, 31).  "Students, I am going to say a chant over and over. I will use the words that are on this paper. These are all names of food items, and I am going to say all of the different sounds in the words. You must see if you can blend the sounds together to say the correct answer. "Give an example chant so they will understand what to do.
Ex: "It begins with /h/,
       And it ends with /am/.
       Put them together,
       And they say ______. (ham)
Other words on the chart should be words like: Eggs, fork, rice, beans, cake, and so on. These are all two-phoneme words.

5. After you finish the chant game, review some of the words found on the chart paper
and on the dry erase board. While you are reviewing say the words slowly once and
another time to blend them together.
6. Break your class into pairs. Give each pair of students 10 keys and a paper cup. "Now
we are going to play another blending game. This is called "Key to the Cupboard"
(Phonemic Awareness, 30). We are going to unlock our cupboard so we can eat.
Explain the rules: "You are going to say words in a "secret code" and the key to
"unlocking" the code is to stretch out and blend the sounds you hear together." Give
them an example: "If I say /h/ /a/ /m/, you say ham. If I say /c/ /u/ /p/, you say cup."
Practice several times using food item names and invite students to volunteer to speak
in "code" for their classmates. The students will do this in their pairs. One child will
say words in a "secret code" They have to all be names of food items or things in a
kitchen. When their partner breaks the code for each word, he or she will take a key
from the cup. They will continue until partners earn all ten keys, then they will switch
roles. Then, provide the students with a list of words so that they can read them. They need to move to word reading. (Example, write these words on the board: ham, cup, beg, Sid, etc.)
7. Assess the students by holding up food flash cards with endings on them. You will ask the students to read the sounds on the cards. You will then hold up a beginning sound along with the ending sound and ask them to read it to you now. For example, hold up ake and ask them to read it. Then, hold up a c with the ake and ask them to read it, cake. Go on like this with whatever food item or kitchen names that you want.

References: (Reading Genie)

Eldredge, J. (1995). Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Prentice-Hall Inc.

Fitzpatrick, Jo. (1997). Phonemic Awareness: Playing With Sounds to Strengthen
Beginning Reading Skills. Creative Teaching Press, Inc.

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