Aimee Maner
Emergent Readers

Blending is a Roller Coaster Ride

Rationale:  Many steps make up the process of learning to read and getting children to blend phonemes to make words is a key and important step.  After a child has learned the phonemes of consonants and short vowels, he/she can blend these sounds together so he/she can be successful in forming words.

Materials:  1.  Red cards with one consonant on each, yellow cards with one vowel on each (have individual copies for each child)  2.  A large picture of a roller coaster (have smaller, individual copies for each child).  3.  Three cut outs of carts that go on a roller coaster with a small pocket on them to place the letter cards in.  4.  The book:  Cat Nap.  5.  Large flash cards with letters for phoneme practice.  6.  Letter cards with ra, ha, ba, ca

1. Introduce the lesson by discussing the differences between vowels and consonants.  "Can anyone raise their hand and tell me a vowel?  That's right, now can you tell me what sound that vowel makes?  What is another vowel?  Good, and what sound does it make?  Can anyone tell me a consonant?  Great, and what sound does that make?"  Hold up the large flash cards and have the students make the mouth moves together.

2.  Tell the students the following story:
The alphabet sounds were out at Six Flags for the afternoon.  (Take out picture of the roller coaster)  All of the consonants loved to go on the roller coaster, but they would always get stuck in the middle and they needed the weight of two carts to push them to the end.  On this particular day /t/ was stuck in the middle and began to yell "help me /k/ and /a/, I'm stuck and I need you to give me a push!"  Well, /k/ was eager to help, but /a/ said, "I'm not going on that, I'm too scared!"  /k/ said, "I'll be right behind you and I'll make sure that you don't get hurt."  Finally, /a/ agreed and got into the first cart and /k/ into the cart behind.

3.  Have the cart with the card /t/ in the middle of the roller coaster and have /k/ and /a/ on carts at the beginning of the roller coaster.

4. When /k/ and /a/ go down the roller coaster have them say "ca,a,a,a,a,a,a" until they bump into /t/, forming the word "cat."

5. Continue the story: /a/ thought that was really fun and was even more excited when they made a word.  Did you hear what they said?  They made "cat."  /a/ wanted to do that again.  This time /p/ was stuck in the middle.  "Hooray!"  Shouted /a/.  "We made the word cap!"  Soon the other vowels saw how much fun /a/ was having and they wanted to try too!

6. Continue the process of sliding down the roller coaster with different consonants and vowel sounds creating new words.  Continue to model each sound and word.

7. Now let the students practice blending on their own and see what words they make blending consonant/vowel/consonant words.  Be sure to remind them that they must always have a consonant (red card) ride behind a vowel (yellow card) and they always bump into another consonant (yellow card).  Tell them to work with the following letters ONLY: Let these letters ride side by side (ra, ha, ba, ca, and let these letters bump into t, d, n, s, b.  See how many different words you can make.  For assessment, walk around the classroom and notice if each child is able to blend the sounds and make a word using the vowel/consonant cards at their desk.

8. Hang the large picture of the roller coaster with the three carts in the classroom and have the letter cards available so the students can use it to practice "Bumping" into letters to make words.

9. Retell the story several times throughout the week until the students understand the idea of "Bumping" the sounds together.  After they get the idea, then have them try blending words with out using the carts.

10. As the class is practicing blending sounds to make words with their cards, go around to each student and have him or her read a short book like "Cat Nap" and note any miscues.

Reference:  Lori Gatling "Blending is Fun"

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