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Introduce onset-rime blending (Mico version)

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Activity Type: Introduce
Activity Form: Standard
Grade: K
Group Size: Small Group, Whole Class
Length: 5 minutes
Materials: A hand puppet--ours is called Mico.
Goal: Given a spoken onset and rime, the student can blend them into a word ( /m/ + "at" -> "mat" ).
Items: 12 picture cards of single-syllable words (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 of single-syllable words will do but note that (i) students may find words beginning with continuous sounds easier than stop sounds at first; (ii) students find words with initial blends—such as frog and star—harder than words without; (ii) 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); and (iv) it may help not to use too many different sounds at first.
  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. Now bring out the puppet. Here’s Mico. He is having trouble speaking today and needs your help. Instead of saying a word like fish it comes out like this: fff-ish. Hold the onset for about a second and don't pause between the onset and rime.
  4. Select 3 picture cards; in this example we’ll assume one of them is fox, but it can be anything you choose. My turn first. I’m going to try to figure out which of these pictures Mico wants. Fff-ox. What’s that? Fff-ox. Now I point to the picture and say the word: fox, fff-ox, fox.
  5. Select three new cards, or just replace fox. Your turn: can you figure out which of these pictures Mico wants? Mmm-oon. What’s that? Mmm-oon. Which picture does Mico want? Say the word. That’s right: moon, mmm-oon, moon. Can you say it like Mico? Students: mmm-oon.
  6. Continue with other sets of 3 picture cards. Watch for students who are not responding and give them an individual turn. Make sure they say the blended and segmented word (fox, fff-ox) as well as pointing at the picture.
  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 3-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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