Shannon Ashworth
Beginning Literacy

Blast-Off to Blending

Rationale: Once children have an understanding of the phonemes of consonants and vowels, they are ready to blend these sounds together to form words.  Blending means smoothly joining phonemes to come up with a pronunciation close enough to a word to access the word.  This skill is a tool needed for accurate and automatic word recognition.  This lesson uses the Body-Coda method developed by Lloyd Eldredge.

Materials: Laminated pictures of Earth, Space Rocket, and Moon; laminated squares with o, do, ho, and fro (body); laminated squares with n, g, and t (coda); copies of Doc in the Fog (Educational Insights); Velcro strips

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 the short vowel sounds.)

3.) “We are going to use our model of the space rocket blasting off to the moon to show us how to blend words.  On our rocket, we have the phonemes: /t/ /o/ and on the moon we have the phoneme: /p/.  The /t/ /o/ is going to blast-off and join the /p/.  Now, I want everyone put on their listening ears and listen to me as I blend these sounds.”  (Note to Teacher) Start with the vowel sound first then add any single consonant or digraph that comes before the vowel.  (This is called the body.)  Lastly, sound out any single consonant or digraph that follows the vowel.  (This is called the coda.).  Hold out the sounds in the beginning to allow the student to recognize what is being said and then shorten while you show the rocket moving towards the moon.

Words Used (divided into body and coda)
o    n
do  g
 ho   t
fro  g

4.) Now I want you to repeat after me.  /o/ now add /t/ to the /o/  /tttooo/ /to/ say /p/.  Now listen to what happens when the /to/ meets the /p/.  What is the new word?  Yes, top.  (Model at least four new words.)

5.) Pass out copies of Doc in the Fog.  Allow the children to practice blending words.  To monitor the students’ progress, walk around to take note of miscues and give assistance where needed.

6.) For assessment, use words from Doc in the Fog and create blending riddles out of them for the students to answer.  E.g. Who is the wizard?  /d/ /o/ /c/
                                    What is the white cloud of smoke?  /f/ /o/ /g/
Allow the students to take turns answering the riddles.

Eldredge, Lloyd, (1995) Teaching Decoding in the Holistic Classroom, Published by Prentice-Hall, Inc., pp. 48.




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