1. Choose the letter-sounds that you would like to focus on
a. For example, /s/, /t/, /p/, /n/, short i, short a
2. Create letter cards for these sounds, enough so each student can have 1
a. Letter-sound cards that will not correspond to picture cards can also be created for an additional
3. Create a number of picture cards that clearly represent words that have your chosen sounds at the beginning, middle, or end
a. For example, a pig, tap, nap, top, apple, pill, sand, pool, igloo
1. Review each picture card to ensure students can identify them
2. Spread the picture cards on the carpet face up
3. Show the students a letter-sound card and pronounce the sound on the card
4. Model choosing an object from the carpet that has that sound at the beginning, middle, or end
a. For example, “Hmm. My sound is /p/. I am going to try to find a word that begins with the /p/ sound. Which of these cards has a picture that starts with /p/? What about this picture. It’s snake. What sound do I hear at the beginning of the word snake? I hear the /s/ sound. That’s not the /p/ sound! What about this picture of a pig? The first sound I hear is /p/. That’s it!”
5. Provide each student with a letter-sound card
6. Invite the students to share their letter-sounds, supporting them as necessary
7. In turn, allow the students to choose a picture card that displays an item that contains their sound
a. You may wish to specify whether students are trying to find the sound at the beginning, middle, or end
of the pictured words
8. Go around the circle and invite each student to share his or her sound as well as the corresponding picture
English Language Learners/ESL:
- Ensure ELLs can identify objects on the picture cards and repeat items frequently so they can clearly hear the sounds - Provide students with picture cards in advance to afford practice for potentially new vocabulary words
LD/Reading & Writing Difficulties:
- Focus on one sound for a greater period of time to consolidate understanding - Provide ample practice opportunities - Ensure students have mastered finding the initial sound before moving to ending or middle sounds
Cultural Appropriateness & Diversity:
- Include images and sounds that are familiar and relevant to all students
- Include letter-sounds with a range of difficulty, ensuring that students receive letter-sound cards at their level - Allow students to choose whether they want to identify a beginning, middle, or end sound
Source: Adams, M. J., Foorman, B. R., Lundberg, I., & Beeler, T. (1998). Phonemic awareness in young children: A classroom curriculum. Baltimore, MA: Brookes Publishing.
Evidence: Yeh, Stuart S., Connell, David B. (2008) Effects of rhyming, vocabulary and phonemic awareness instruction on phoneme awareness. Journal of Research in Reading, 31(2), 243-256.
The goal of Match It!: Finding Beginning, Middle, and End Sounds is to help students develop phonemic awareness and knowledge of letter-sound correspondences by hearing sounds in pictured words that match their letter-sound cards.
What You Need
- Choose letter-sounds to focus on - Find picture cards that contain these letter-sounds
20-25 minutes - Teacher models how to match beginning/middle/end sound cards with various pictures - Students practice with matching activity - Teacher scaffolds and reviews
Teacher: - Picture cards - Cardboard
What You Do
Direct instruction: - during initial explanation of task and modelling
Facilitator: - during matching activity
Small group: - during matching activity
- Play the game with individual students to determine their level of phonemic awareness
- Make observations of which sounds students can identify, by themselves or in a word
- Choose three pictures and ask students, "which picture does not belong to this beginning (or middle or ending) sound?"
- Have students play "go fish" with the picture cards and decide if they have a match with a letter sound
- Use tangible objects around the classroom or assign students homework to bring in objects instead of pictures to find sounds
- Make sure you have already taught the letter-sounds you will feature in this activity.
- If you are having students focus on middle or ending sounds, extra emphasis should be put on segmenting the words to hear each of their sounds, for example: "This is a cat. The sounds I hear in cat or /c/ /a/ /t/. Yes! The middle sound in cat is /a/!" a. If students are expected to find middle sound, make sure it is clear. b. For example, for middle sounds choose pictures of a "cap" or a "boat" not "candy".
- You may wish to consult a systematic, explicit phonics program such as "Jolly Phonics" for ideas on what letter-sounds to teach and in what order.
- Think about the words that you are representing with pictures, recognizing that some words are easier to separate into sounds than others. For example, hearing the /t/ in "tap" may be easier than hearing the /t/ in "train", because in the second word the /t/ is blended with the /r/.
- Remember that sounds and letters do not always match in English. Some sounds are represented by more than one letter in the alphabet (like /ch/). Also, some letters represent more than one sound (like the letter c, which can make a /s/ sound or a /k/ sound). This might make it confusing to represent some letters with a "letter card". As well, some students might hear sounds that seem funny when compared to English spelling patterns. For example, students may hear the /k/ sound in the word "box". This shows that the student knows the sounds in box (which are /b/ /o/ /k/ /s/), even though they have not yet learned that in English, the letter x makes the sound /ks/).