Let’s Be Friends!

Holly Kubik

Beginning Reading

Rationale:  Students need to have knowledge of letter-sound relationships coupled with blending abilities in order to read words automatically. Students will be able to decide more quickly with some blending experience under their belt. This lesson will use the Body-Coda method to blend because it is the easiest way to blend.

Materials:  Enlarged cut-outs of kittens (two white and one gray), a set of kitten cut-outs for each student (the gray kittens should have the letters b, d, g, n, m, p, r, t {Coda}on them and the white kittens should have the letters a (8), c (2), f, j, m, r (2), s {Body} on them, and one copy of the A Cat Nap for each student.


        1. Today we are going to learn how to blend. Blending is a lot like rhyming. When you blend you have to make each sound run together smoothly. Blending is a fun thing to do and it is also very important. We need to learn how to blend letters in order to read.

        2. Does anyone remember the sound that a short a makes? That's right! It says /a/, the crying baby sound. Today we will use the /a/ sound to blend our letters together. Listen as I blend these letters together, /ca/ /t/, caaatt. Did you hear the word that I made from those three sounds? Very good, I said cat. Today we are going to learn a special way to help us remember how to blend words.

        3. Show the children enlarged copies of the kittens in order to explain how to blend kittens. These kittens are white because they are happy. They are happy because they have friends to play with. This kitten is gray because he is sad. He is sad because he has no one to play with.

        4. One day a gray kitten named /t/ was all alone. /t/ was eating grass all by himself until he saw two white kittens named /a/ and /b/ tumbling in grass a few trees away from him. /b/ and /a/ were having a lot of fun together. While playing together their names blended together and made a new name and sound. They said bbaaaa. Finally /b/ and /a/ noticed that /t/ was looking at them so they ran over to meet him. /t/ was so happy. Put the cutouts b and a next to the cutout t. Now that /t/ has become their new friend, they all began to make a new and bigger sound. This sound is a word! Listen as I blend them together---/b//a//t/---bbbaaaaattttt. What word did they make? Right, bat.

        5. Always remember that different sets of kittens make many different sounds. Continue to model this with different letters until each child understands what to do.

        6. Now I want you all to go back to your desks and practice blending your kittens. I will give each of you a set of kittens. Remember that it takes two white kittens and one gray kitten to make a word. The gray kittens should have letters b, d, g, n, m, p, r, t on them and the white kittens should have the letters a (8), c (2), f, j, m, r (2), s on them. The students should have eight blending kittenss when they are finished. I want to see how many blending kittens you can make. Walk around and make sure that the students are blending each word accurately. Make notes for assessment.

        7. Now I am going to give each of you a copy of A Cat Nap and I'm going to walk around and listen to each of you read part of the story. Make miscue notes while listening. Everyone needs to start reading the story and if I don't get to you before you finish reading, just close your book, and practice more blending. I will get to you as soon as I can and when I do I will let you read part of the story to me.

        8. To make sure that the students completely understand how to blend, go over the procedure again during the day and week. For more practice, do another lesson like this but use a different vowel.




Click to return to Explorations