Christie Grover
Beginning Reading

The See-Saw: How to Blend

Rationale: Children should be able to blend words together in order to spell and read words. Students arrive at pronunciation by learning to smooth phonemes together. Students will be able to identify words more quickly if they understand how to merge phonemes together. This design was made in order to help students blend phonemes together.

Materials: Chalkboard with chalk and letter cards for a, c, t, n, b, p, h, l, s, and m

Procedure: 1.  Today we are going to find out how we take sounds and make them into words. Here’s an example. Tell me what I’m saying…cccccaaaaaaattttt. I said cat. It took me a long time to say that word like that. Imagine if all words were that long. It would take a really long time just to say one sentence. We are going to look at a lot of words but we are going to focus on words that have the letter a=/a/ in them.

2. Today we are going to blend words. Blending words is really easy to do if you understand how to do it. First I will draw a see-saw on the board and explain how it moves because of the weight differences on either side. When I play on the see-saw, I can go up and down. “C” wanted to play on the see-saw and so did “t”. (I will demonstrate on the chalkboard). Let’s just say for fun that “t” is a lot bigger than ”c” so “c” asks “a” to come and sit with him. Now, on one side of the see-saw “c” and “a” are together and they say /ca/. The other side says /t/. If the “c” and “a” slide to the other end of the see-saw, they say cat. When the “t” wants to play somewhere else, n, b, and p can take his spot saying  can, cab and cap. I can then switch other letters in and out to suit the situation. (I will also use the words nap, hat, last, and slam.

3. Now I want you to figure out some words on your own. I will pronounce some words in a funny way. The sounds will be said one at a time. I want you to guess what I am saying. Here is an example; n-a-p. That’s right, I said nap. (If incorrect, I will say, sorry, the word is nap).

4. I will pass out copies of the book A Cat Nap to the children in the room. I will then ask them to find a quiet place in the classroom to read the book out loud to themselves. I will walk around the classroom and assess what they have learned. I will then help the one’s who are still having trouble with blending.

Reference: Murray, Bruce ed. (1998). Lessons For Learning to Read. (p.26). “See-Saw: How to Blend” by: Tiffany Hellwagner

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