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Playing with Letter Sounds

October 18, 2008

lettersPlaying with Letter Sounds

an upper case “A” and a lower case “a” written on 2 pieces of paper to attach to the front and back of the hat and the backpack
a selection of items with the beginning sound set out for a scavenger hunt for each letter sound

  1. Prior to doing this lesson read some ABC books to your child. It is a good way to introduce your child to new words and it will help your child start to see the patterns in words. There are books for every interest – from construction vehicles to pigs.
  2. A prerequisite for this skill is the ability to identify the initial sound of a word and understand the term first.
  3. Explain to your child that they will be going on a scavenger hunt or treasure hunt.
  4. Hold up an apple and ask your child what it is.
  5. Explain to them that apple starts with an “a” and the sound is the short “a”. At this point they don’t need to know the difference between a long “a” or short “a”. That will come later.
  6. Have them repeat the sound to you.
  7. Ask “What other things start with the “a” sound?”
  8. If them need help, look around the room and pick something that definitely doesn’t start with /a/ and ask, “What is this?  Does it sound like the “a” in apple?” Then repeat the name of the item and the letter sound, stretching it out. You are modeling what them should do to figure out the answer. Don’t automatically tell them if it starts with the “a” sound.
  9. If they don’t know, go on to another item.
  10. Next find something in the room that does start with /a/ but go through the modeling again. Say the name of the item and the short “a” sound with your child. Wait for them to figure out if it is the same sound.
  11. If they are wrong, say the name of the item again slowly and the short “a” sound drawing it out slowly. If they still don’t get it, try saying “apple” and the name of the item several times.
  12. If they still don’t get it, they may not be ready for the activity. You’ll want to come back to this activity in the future.
  13. When they are comfortable with playing with the letter sounds, have them look around and see how many other things they can find that starts with the short “a” sound to put in their backpack.
  14. As they select an item, say the name of the item out loud with your students then the short “a” sound or “apple” to help them become more comfortable with the process.
  15. Another good book to reinforce the short “a” sound is: “Cats – The sound of short A”. It is an early reader that reinforces the sound of /a/ in apple.


By watching your child, you’ll be able to see if they are confused or they really know the letter sounds.

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