“Blast Off with Blending”
Sarah Grizzle
Beginning Readers
Rationale:  Besides correspondences, phonics instruction should also develop blending ability.  Blending is the ability to smoothly join phonemes together in order to come up with an approximate pronunciation of a word.  Once children know consonant and short vowel sounds, they are ready to read and make words through blending. When blending, it is better to divide the syllable in a word a different way, thus this lesson is designed to help students blend phonemes together using the Body-Coda method of blending.

Materials:
*  Reading Rocket and Moon model:  large cardboard picture of a rocket and moon with pockets on the front of each to hold   letter cards, white construction paper for stars, black paper for background space theme, velcro squares for rocket [Create the space theme on a bulletin board or wall.  Use velcro squares on back of rocket, so that it can blast off to the moon and back. The rocket should be labeled Reading Rocket.]
*  (Card stock letter cards) body cards: re, pe, be, fe   coda cards: d, t, n, g
*  Class set of  “Red Gets Fed.”
*  Pencils and crayons
*  Rocket and Moon blending worksheets (pictures can be created on computer or by hand.)  Have the moon larger because the final blends can be created on the moon. Example of computer drawing that may be used:
 
 

Procedures:
1.  Introduce lesson by explaining that in order for us to read words, we must learn how to blend.  Blending is when we join different sounds together to make a word.  Today, we are going to explore blending in outer space with our “hard to hear” sound.  Can anyone remember what letter and sound makes the “hard to hear” sound?  Correct,  e makes the /e/ sound. [Although /e/ is the main vowel sound, also review the other letter sounds that will be used. r, p, b, f, d, t, n, g]  Now we are ready to Blast Off with Blending!

2.  [Show students the body cards: re, pe, be, fe.]  These letters are on a special mission to save other letters who are stranded in outer space on the moon.  In order for them to say a word, they must blast off to the moon and blend with the other stranded sound.  Today, /e/ is the captain vowel of the ship.  He is joined by other consonant astronauts.

3.  [Model with the first letter pair re.]  For the first mission, captain /e/ is paired with astronaut /r/.  Together, they make the sound re.  [Place body card re in pocket of Reading Rocket and the letter d in pocket on the moon.]  Help me! Help me, yells the letter d who is stuck on the moon.  The Reading Rocket blasts up into the air reeeee, lands on the moon, and blends with the sound /d/ to make the word reeeee....d. Excellent!  You have saved the day and created the word red.

4.  Captain /e/ is now ready for another mission to the moon. [Repeat with other letters.  This model can be used with a variety of bodies and codas to practice blending.]

5.  Give students Blast Off with Blending worksheets.  Have them practice blending and writing the words.  Remind them that the paired letters re, pe, be, fe are already in the rocket, and they will blast up and blend with the single letters d, t, n, and g that are on the moon.  Let them see how many different words they can create. [Walk around and make sure each child is able to verbally blend sounds and create words.]  Allow them to color Reading Rocket and moon once they have completed worksheet.

6.  Have the large Blast Off with Blending model available for students, so that they can practice blending.  [Change the letter correspondences so that children can practice blending with other sounds.]

7.  For assessment, go to each student and have them read “Red Gets Fed.”  Note miscues.

References:
http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/breakthroughs/manerbr.html

For further information or questions, you can e-mail me.

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