Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Phonics They Will Remember

Helping young children learn their alphabet, letter sounds, and phonics should be fun and meaningful.  Children need many opportunities to practice theses letter sound combinations.

I just got back from presenting at SDE (Staff Development for Educators) I Teach K, I Teach 1st, and DI (Differentiating Instruction) conferences in Las Vegas.  This was part of one of my sessions.  I'm receiving some emails and messages for directions, so I decided to give everyone a visual.

One way that I work with my students on these skills is to play a Battle of the Bands game.  We first learn the song and activity whole group.

You will need some flash cards of the ABC's, phonics pattern cards, and word family cards based upon the phonics skill you are teaching your students.  Sing the following words to We Will Rock You.  Are you ready to clap?  Slap, slap, CLAP! Slap, slap, CLAP! Slap, slap, CLAP! Slap, slap, CLAP!

Letter Bb, Letter B, says "b" (slap, slap) "b" (clap).
Letter Ss, Letter, s, says "Ss" (slap, slap) "s" (clap).
Sh, sh, says "sh" (slap, slap) "sh" (clap).
St, st, says "st" (slap, slap) "st" (clap).

My students make drum sticks out of large tongue depressors.  They decorate them with markers and make them their own style.  Then they turn their chairs backwards and sit facing the back of the chair.  This way they can use the back of the chair for their drums.  I also have back-up singers :)

at, at, says "at" (slap, slap) "at" (clap).
ink, ink, says "ink" (slap, slap) "ink" (clap).
op, op, says "op" (slap, slap) "op" (clap).
ay, ay says "ay" (slap, slap) "ay" (clap).
Once we have practiced as a group, we start our battle of the bands.  I divide my students into groups at tables throughout my room.  They name their band, create their own signs, and we are ready to go! They play their phonics as a group and then we rotate tables.  The goal is to go around the room and practice all of the letter/sounds, phonics patterns, or word families at each table.

I am the conductor of this whole game and when I press the pretend "pause" button, they all freeze.  Just like a video game.

Have fun!  Thanks for stopping by!


  1. So fun! Thank you for sharing! :)

    1. Hi Lorena! We have FUN, FUN, FUN with this activity. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  2. I'm an art teacher. However, I get extremely excited when I see classroom teachers expressing fun learning ideas and I adopt them, too. This game is perfect for any subject. Thanks Kathy-G!

    1. Thanks Marsha! I'm glad you found a way to make it work for your classroom teaching art. You ROCK :)

  3. Very creative ideas:-) I love integrating music and art while teaching children a new sound or concept . It makes life much easier:-) Thank you for sharing your ideas!

    1. I love integrating music too. It really does help them learn and remember in a fun way. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  4. I enjoyed singing this with you at your SDE presentation - I learned so much! Thank you!
    Whimsy Workshop Teaching

    1. Thanks for coming to my session Susanna. I would have given you a "shout out" if I had known before instead of after :)