Beginning Reading
Amanda Bates

          The Blending Swing  

Rationale:  Getting children to blend sounds to make words is an essential step in learning to read.  This activity gives them a concrete and fun way to learn this skill.  Once a child knows consonant and short vowel sounds, they can learn to blend these sounds together to make words.  Once they learn how to do this, a whole world opens up to them. They are reading!  Students will be able to blend sound together to form consonant/vowel/consonant words.

Materials:  A large picture of a swing in a park or playground.  Have two different sets of cards, yellow and red ones.  The red cards will have consonant sounds on them, and the yellow cards will have vowel sounds on them.

1. Discuss the difference between a consonant and a vowel.
2. Make the red and the yellow cards with the letter on them.
3. Tell the following story.  ãThe alphabet sounds were out at recess.  Several of the sounds wanted to go on the swing.  (take out the large cardboard swing).  All of the consonants loved to play on the swing, but the vowels were scared.  One day ãhä (use sound not letter name) said to ãeä (use short sounds for e), ãCome on, letâs go play on the swing.ä  ãeä said, ãNo thank you.ä  You see all of the vowels were really afraid to swing.  But ãhä said, ãItâs really fun.  Iâll go with you, so you wonât be afraid.ä  ãeä thought about it, but said he was afraid that he might fall out of the swing, so he still didnât want to go.  Well, ãnä heard them and said that he would be glad to be in front of the swing.  After a little persuading, ãeä decided to try.  So, ãhä and ãeä went up the steps together.
4. Hold the ãhä card where it pushes the ãeä in the swing.  Have children sound each letter out and then add them together (ãhe, he, heä).
5. Have ãnä waiting to catch ãeä when he jumps form the swing.  Have children sound all the letters together now.
6. Continue the story.  ãeä thought that it was really fun, and they made a word.  Did you hear what they said?  They made ãhen.ä  ãeä wanted to do it again.  This time ãrä (always use a letter sound, not letter name) waited to catch him from the swing.
Repeat the above steps.
7. Continue the process of swinging with different consonant and vowel sounds.
Have the children try on the large picture of the swing.
8. Have the children experiment and practice on their own, blending CVC words.
9. Remind them to always have a consonant go with a vowel and always have a consonant catch them at the end.


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