BlendingBest Buddies
Jenny Earnest


Rationale:  In order for children to be successful in reading words, they must have an understanding of how the letters blend together to make the words they are reading.  Students will be able to decode words more quickly after they are familiarized with the concept of blending.  This lesson will use the Body-Coda method of blending, developed by Lloyd Eldredge, to help children develop the skills that they need for blending.

          1. Large cut-outs of children (one yellow and one blue)
            2.Foam board with outdoor or playground scene drawn for demonstration to class.  Velcro
               should be randomly placed in the scene in order to place the "blending buddies" in the
               scene for demonstration.
            3.Set of children cut-outs for each child.  Yellow children cut-outs should have ri, si, di, and hi
               written on them (body) and the blue cut-outs should have p, d, t, g, m written on them
            4.Copy of Tin Man Fix-It for each child in the class.

1. In order to learn to read words, we have to learn a special trick.  This special trick is blending.  Blending is when we put each letter's sound together to read a word.  If we don't know how to blend letters together, it will be impossible to read words.

2.  Does anyone remember what sound our short i makes?  That's right!  It says /i/, the "icky sticky sound".  Today we will be using the /i/ sound when we blend our letters together.  Listen as I blend together these sounds:  /r/  /i/  /p/.   rrrrriiiiiippppp.  Did you hear the word that I made from those sounds?  Yes!  I made the word rip.  Today we are going to learn a special way to remember how to blend words.

3. Show enlarged examples of children cut-outs in order to explain the blending method. The letters on the children who are yellow are bright and cheerful,  because they have a good friend to play with on the playground, but the letter on the blue cut-out is very sad because he has no one to play with.

4.  You see, one day all of the children were playing on the playground at school.  Give example using cut-outs:  But /g/ was all alone.  He had no one to play with.  He saw /d/ and /i/ playing together and was very sad that he didn't have a buddy.  /d/ and /i/ looked like they were having so much fun.  When they were together they even made a new sound.  They said dddddiiiiiiii.  Well, /d/ and /i/ finally noticed that /g/ looked very lonely.  They decided to ask /g/ to play with them.  /g/ was so excited. (Put cut-out with di next to the cut-out with g to show that they are friends.) Now that /g/ had become had become their new buddy they made an even greater sound - a word!  When /d/ and /i/ and /g/ were together they now said dddiiiiiggg - dig!

5.  Remember that different sets of buddies make many different sounds. (Continue modeling this with different letters becoming different buddies.  Let students come to the front of the class to demonstrate the technique to the other students using the large diagram and cut-outs.)

6.  Now I want you to practice blending buddies at your desk.  You will each be given a set of buddies to blend together.  Remember that you must blend happy letters on the yellow cut-outs with sad letters on the blue cut-outs. (Yellow cut-outs should include the letters ri, di, si, and hi.  Blue cut-outs should include p, d, t, g, m.  Students should have a total of 9 buddies to blend together in different ways.) I want to see how many words you can make by blending buddies together. (Walk around and note if each child is able to blend letters together for assessment.)

7.  Have the children read Tin Man Fix-It individually and note any miscues.  While one child is reading the book to the teacher, other children can draw a playground scene for their blending buddies activity and can continue blending buddies together.

8.  Go over the story and blending buddies procedure a few more times during the week to make sure that children understand the procedure.  For more practice, do this same lesson again with different Body and Coda cut-outs (ex - use a different vowel, etc.).


Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Prentice Hall, Inc.  New Jersey, 1995

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