Phonics is never the easiest of subjects to teach, most especially if you're a new teacher. Finding fun activities to keep your students engaged while working on those important phonics skills is challenging and that's why I want to share an activity that my students loved! This activity really captures students' attention and helps them to practice segmenting skills.
For this activity, all you're going to need are some CVC word picture flashcards (it's really important that they are picture only and don't have any words written on them) and a whiteboard marker. This activity can be played online or in the classroom but today I will be explaining the in-class version.
To get started position the class in a semi-circle with you the teacher in the middle. Next, you're going to review the sounds of the alphabet one by one using a drilling game such as Silly Banana. The reason we review the sounds is that students will need to have these sounds fresh in their minds for this activity.
Next, you're going to draw a crossword grid on the whiteboard behind you, numbering each line as you do.
Now, it's really important that you plan out this grid before your lesson and matches the grid lines and with the correct the CVC picture flashcards. Number the back of the flashcards to match.
Next, split the class into two teams, giving them fun team names as you do. You can practice blending here by giving each team a name using simple CVC words such as cat and bus, and writing them on the board. Have the students read the word out loud to work out what their team name is.
Once the class is in two teams and your grid has been drawn, place those numbered CVC picture flashcards facedown on the floor in front of you.
One player from each team then comes to the front and plays a game of rock, paper, scissors. The winner stays at the front and the other student sits back down. The player at the front then picks one card from the floor, says that word out loud and segment the sounds to fit on the grid. If that student does so correctly, they can write the letters onto the grid. Of course, if your students aren't yet strong writers then you can help them by writing it in yourself.
That team then wins that line and gets one point for their team. Next, two more players come to the front, play rock, paper, scissors, and go again. Keep going until the entire grid has been completed and see which team is the winner.
Now in this example, I've explained how we can use this game to practice segmenting skills, but we can also use it to practice blending by replacing those CVC picture cards with CVC words. When students pick up the card, they need to blend the word correctly and place a picture card on a grid in order to get the point.
You can use this activity during class as a team game, but can also follow up with the activity by creating some worksheets for students to then practice individually. If you want to save time on preparation, then you can find some ready to print worksheets in the Mooncake English store.
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