This activity will help beginning readers and struggling readers build phonemic awareness by associating letters with their sounds. When students learn to spell words by associating the sounds with the letters and to put the letters in the correct sequence, they gain phonemic awareness, which will help them become better readers.
Students need to know the sounds of each of the letters in this word list before you try to play the spelling game. Give your student only the letters he needs to spell the words in the list you plan to use. You may want to start with only three or four words from this list the first time you play the game.
Pronounce words slowly and clearly—but do not distort them. It is acceptable to drag out vowel sounds, as in “c–aaa–t”, but do NOT pronounce a word like “kuuh-aaaaa-tuuh.” Do NOT drag out the consonant sounds. Show your child how to build and change words. He may need assistance at first to learn how to arrange the letters in the correct left to right sequence. (Note: Letters between slashes / / indicate that you should use the letter-sound rather than the letter name.)
How to Play the Spelling Game
- Ask your student to tell you the sound on each letter tile.
- Next, ask him to find the letters with the sounds /a/ and /t/.
- Tell him to put the two sounds together to make the word at. If he doesn’t understand how to do this, demonstrate it.
- Now, ask him to find the letter that makes the sound /k/ (the letter c). Tell him to put the new letter at the beginning of the word at to make the word cat. Ask him to read the word to you.
- Next, ask him to find the letter that makes the sound /s/ and then change the first letter in the word cat to make the word sat.
- Continue in this manner to make the words hat, fat, mat, and rat.
- Spend only a few minutes at a time with this activity so your child will want to do it again later.