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Introduce middle sound segmenting (Mico version)

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Activity Type: Introduce
Activity Form: Standard
Grade: K, 1
Group Size: Small Group, Whole Class
Length: 5 minutes
Materials: A hand puppet--ours is called Mico.
Goal: Given a spoken word, the student can say its middle sound ( "mat" -> /a/ ).
Items: 12 picture cards (make sure only the picture is visible on each card, not the word)

What to do

  1. Select 12 picture cards for this activity. Any pictures will do, but note that (i) some teachers like to begin with sounds for which students have already learned the letter-sound correspondence (so that students are comfortable physically producing the sound); (ii) it may help not to use too many different sounds at first; (iii) use words with three phonemes so that students can easily figure out which is the middle sound.
  2. First make sure students know the names of the pictures by going through the deck, asking students to name the pictures. If they come up with a name other than the one you are looking for, correct them and put the card in a separate pile. Then go through this pile and repeat until students can name all the pictures correctly.
  3. Lay out three picture cards to start the activity. We’ll assume they are bag, cup, and dog, but they can be anything you choose.
  4. Bring out the puppet. Here’s Mico. Today he wants to play a game with you. He’s going to say a sound, and you have to find the word that has the same sound in the middle. My turn first. This is bag, cup, dog. Point to each picture card in turn. What’s the sound, Mico? Find the word that has /u/ in the middle. What’s that? /u/ like hut. Which word has /u/ in the middle? Cup! Cup has /u/ in the middle: cuuup. Say it slowly like I just did. Students: cuuup. Can you hear the /u/?
  5. Replace the 3 picture cards with (for example) nose, mop, and van. Okay, your turn. This is nose, mop, van. What’s the sound, Mico? Find the word that has /a/ in the middle. What’s that? /a/ like in cat. Which word has /a/ in the middle? Students: van. Right! Van has /a/ in the middle: vvvaaan. Say it slowly like I just did. Students: vvvaaan.
  6. Continue with other sets of 3 picture cards. Watch for students who are not responding and give them an individual turn.
  7. If the activity is too difficult for a student, reduce the number of picture cards to 2 until the student can select the correct picture on 3 consecutive tries. Then increase the set back to 3 cards.
  8. Once students have mastered the three card activity, increase the number of picture cards to 4, then 6, then all 12 pictures, so they are selecting 1 card from 12 on Mico’s direction.
  9. Make a note in an Activity Log for students who continue to have difficulties.

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