Mouth Moves and Gestures for Phonemes


Melanie Hummer (MHummer@cvschools.org) helps children learn phonemes by exploring their mouth moves and representing their meaningful representations with hand gestures.  Melanie is a reading specialist at Green Ridge Elementary School in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Most of her meaningful representations begin with the same sound they are representing.


Phoneme Mouth Feel Gesture
Meaningful Representation
/a/ Jaw and tongue are down.
Rub eyes with fists. Crying baby
/b/ Lips start out together, then they open and a puff of air comes out. Voice box on. Pat chest. Beating heart
/c/ Tongue is humped in the back of your mouth.
Pull index finger to click camera. Click
/d/ Tip of tongue touches above your top teeth.  Voice box on. Knock on table. Door knock
/e/ Mouth open, tongue behind bottom teeth. Hand cupped behind ear. Hard to hear
/f/ Top teeth touch your bottom lip. Swirl open hand. Electric fan
/g/ Mouth is open, tongue humped at back of mouth.  Voice box on. Raise glass. Gulping milk
/h/ Air comes out of mouth.
Pant.
Hot dog
/i/ Mouth is open, tongue is slightly lowered. Mouth open, tongue out. Icky sticky
/j/ Tongue is up, lips are open. Twirl hands. Jumping rope
/k/ Tongue is humped in the back of your mouth. Pull index finger to click camera. Click
/l/ Tip of tongue touches above your top teeth and stays there. Hold up fist. Ready to lick a lollipop.
/m/ Lips come together. Rub tummy. Mmm mmm good
/n/ Tongue behind top teeth, air comes out your nose.
Swat at bug. Buzzing gnat
/o/ Mouth open, jaw dropped.
Mouth open. Doctor says "Open wide"
/p/ Lips start together, then open and a puff of air comes out. Pop fingers open. Popcorn popping
/q/ Back of tongue is humped  in back of mouth, lips make a circle. Hands on hips. "Quiet said the queen!"
/r/ Tongue curls up to roof of mouth.  Voice box on. Clench teeth. Dog growls "Ruff ruff"
/s/ Tip of tongue touches above your top teeth. Then make a snake sound. Hiss and undulate hand side to side Snake
/t/ Tip of tongue touches above your top teeth. Move finger like pendulum. Tick tock
/u/ Mouth is open, tongue is down.
Pretend to punch stomach. Punch
/v/ Top teeth touch bottom lip.  Voice box on. Push arm back and forth. Vacuum cleaner.
/w/ Lips make a circle.
Move from side to side. Washing machine
/x/ Begins with back of tongue humped in back of your mouth. Then makes a snake sound. Open a soda can.
Carbonation leaking out
/y/ Tongue is behind lower teeth, mouth is open. Slap side of leg. "YAH!"
/z/ Tip of tongue touches above your top teeth. Voice box on. Pretend to zip up a coat. Zipper sound
     


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