Roll the Dice
By Kellie Edberg
In order for children to be successful readers they need to recognize how letters blend together to create words. This is a process called blending which plays a crucial part in learning to decode text. The purpose of this activity is to teach children to blend phonemes together to be able to form words.
Materials: 1 large die with word families (-at, -en, -it, -op, and un) printed on five sides and roll again on the sixth, chalkboard, 1 piece of paper and pencil per student
1) Introduce the lesson by explaining what blending is. “We can blend different sounds together to make new words.”
2) Before the start of the lesson, review some letter-sound correspondences orally with the students. For example, “What vowel sound do you hear in cap, hen, fit, top and fun?” (Use this time to review short vowel sounds.)
3) Before the lesson starts model blending using the following: “What is the first sound you hear when I say at?” Students should answer together with the sound “/a/.” Then students should write the grapheme (letters), which stands for that sound on their practice paper. Then ask, “What is the next sound that you hear when I say me?” Students should answer together with the sound “/t/.” Then students should write the grapheme (letter) that stands for that sound on their practice paper. “What makes the first sound in me that you wrote on your paper?” Children should answer “/a/” and the teacher writes it on the board. Ask the same question for the /t/ then write in on the board beside to the m. Children will be able to see the answer and compare if to their own.
4) “We are going to use our die to help us blend some words. On our die we have the word families: -at, -en, -it, -op, -un on five sides of the die and “Roll Again” on the sixth side.
5) Have one student roll the die. If it lands on a word family space, the student must come up with a word for that family and record it on his/her piece of paper and the chalkboard. The student must also say the sounds in the word and blend the sounds to make the word (e.g. /c/ + /at/ = cat). Also have the class say the sounds in the word given and blend the sounds to make the word. Students keep their own list of words on one side of the paper and the classes on the other. If the student lands on “Roll Again,” he/she gets another turn.
6) For assessment check each students written words and listen closely to each child as they are blending the given words as a class. The students with all of their words and the classes words recorded correctly are considered a winner.
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