Blending is Fun

Beginning Reading


Ashley Rials

Rationale: Students need to have knowledge of letter-sound relationships that combine with blending abilities to help them read words automatically. Students will be able to decide more quickly with some active and engaging blending experience practice.  This lesson will use the Body-Coda method to blend because it is the easiest way to blend.


          -piece of poster board with a picture of a clown on it.

            -3 pieces of yarn that will serve as “strings” to the balloons. (They should extend from the clowns hands into the air.)

            -yellow balloons with the letters “a (8), c (2), f, j, m, r (2), s” written on them and green balloons with the letters b, d, g, n, m, p, r, t                   written on them.

            -smaller versions of the same balloons for each student.

            -sticky-tac that will enable you to temporarily paste balloons with letters in the air beside the clown.

            -a book like Educational Insights,  A Cat Nap.


  1. Today we are going to learn how to blend. Blending is a lot like rhyming. When you blend you 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/. Today we will use the /a/ sound to blend our letters together. Listen as I blend these letters together, /pa/ /n/, paaann. Did you hear the word that I made from those three sounds? Very good, I said pan. Today we are going to learn a special way to help us remember how to blend words.
  3. Show the children the poster of the clown.  You will now explain how to blend balloons. “Can anyone tell me what this is?  Right!  It’s a clown.  Well, this clown is very sad.  He is sad because he would like some balloons.  However, he can’t just have any old balloons. He wants his balloons to form a word!  Guess what!  We can help him!
  4. I have given you each a set of balloons.  The balloons have letters written on them.  These letters make sounds.  Our job is to blend the balloons so that we can give the clown some balloons that form a word!  For example, in my hand I have two balloons with the letters p and a on them. These balloons make the sound “pppaaa”   Who can tell me another balloon that I can add to these to make a word?  How about t? By blending these sounds together we can make a new sound. This sound is a word! Listen as I blend them together---/p//a//t/---pppaaaaattttt. What word did we make? Right, pat.
  5. Always remember that different sets of balloons will make many different sounds.” Continue to model this with different letters until each child understands what to do.
  6. Now I want you to go back to your seats and practice blending balloons. I will give each of you a set of balloons. Remember that it takes two yellow balloons and one green balloon to make a word.” The green balloons should have letters b, d, g, n, m, p, r, t on them and the yellow balloons should have the letters a (8), c (2), f, j, m, r (2), s on them. The students should have eight blending balloons when they are finished. “I want to see how many blending balloons you can make.”  Walk around and make sure that the students are blending each word correctly. 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.


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.


Ashley Higginbotham

Balloon Blending

Lesson adapted by Ashley Rials

Written by Ashley Higginbotham

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