Blending with the Ocean
Beginning Reader

Margo Sexton

Getting kids to blend sounds to make words is an essential step in learning to read. Once a child knows consonant and short vowel sounds, they can learn to blend these sounds together to make words. Once they learn how to do this they are on the right track and they are reading! Students will be able to blend sounds together to form words. Blending does not have to be perfect but the best way for children to learn is by repeated blending. It is best for children to say the first two sounds in a word and immediately blend those two sounds together then third sounds and blend it with the previous two.  Best for no more then two sounds to be pronounced and then blended because otherwise it is too hard for them to keep the sound in their memory.

All 26 letters of the alphabet-

A,E,I,O,U-Red letters opposed to constants in black

-Colorful Poster with a Under the sea drawing

-Velcro to stick the letter onto the poster

-Poster for finished words with Velcro to place them on


1.I will first introduce the poster with the undersea drawing.  I will let the children help me Velcro all the letters onto various spots under the water.  

2.I will explain to the children that all the letters have decided to go swimming under the sea and in order to get them out we will have to help put them together to make words.

3.I will then introduce blending.  First I will give an example of a slowly sounded out word
ex:/c/-/a/-/t/ and ask for someone to tell me the word I was saying.  When they understand cat I will explain that they blended each sound fo the letters together to make a word.  This will be the same activity we will do with all the underwater letters!  Talk about how Ca was added to /t/ to make the word cat.

4.Explain how the ocean is full of letters that decided to go swimming.  Tell how all the letters do this together but some are more brave than others.  The vowels were afraid of the ocean because of big sharks or other creatures in the ocean-Ask students to name vowels and point to them on the sand of the ocean picture.  Tell them we are going to pick out consonants one by one to accompany the vowels into the ocean.  First one so along came the s to go with the /s/ to go with the /u/ swimming blend them.  But that was still not enough to get the /u/ in the water so the /n/ decided to come along.  So if the /s/ /u/ and /n/ are all swimming side by side then what word to be have.  Great sun…
Make sure to demonstrate putting the words all together on display.  As the lesson progresses the kids can be in charge or putting them up on the board and displaying!

5.  Keep going with words such as sand, fish, nemo, water, shell, wave, fin, sun, shovel, towel, etc. If you think the students are comfortable with the game, let them come up
and try a few.  Encouraging them to think of words that are associated with the sea and if they can pick out the letters from under the sea and then try to blend the words together.  I will assess the students using this activity.  
6. Assessment:  I will then continue assessing the children by not using the “sea boardâ€� and asking the students if they can tell me what is small and swims in the ocean We will first pronounce the vowel i as /i/.  Its a /f//i//sh/…good fish.  I am thinking of a round circle in the sky. /s//u//n/.  Keep going and try to think
of different objects that are in the water or around water. I will then go around the room one by one and ask each child to come to the board and try this activity.  

Textbook-Beck, Isabel L. (2006). Making Sense of Phonics: The Hows and Whys. New York:Guilford.

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Mallory Hall

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