Monday, July 27, 2015

Resources for Teaching the Sounds of C and G

As previously described, I am gradually developing a variety of phonics-based resources within The Tally Tales TPT store. You are welcome to peruse the product listings within the store. However, I often find it to be helpful to see a bit more detail/description of the products, rather than the snippets provided within the TPT listing. Blog posts about products are always helpful to me. You may not find this post to be helpful, but if you are looking for resources to support this particular skill, then I hope you will gain something from descriptions of my new product here.

With this product, I have focused on providing resources that support instruction and practice with the hard and soft sounds of the letters C and G
You may or may not be completely familiar with the differing sounds that can be expressed using C and G. Hopefully, this explanation will be helpful…

The Letter C The letter C makes two sounds—the /k/ sound and the /s/ sound. The sound of C is primarily determined by the letter following it, and vowels are particularly vital for altering the letter sound. When C is followed by a consonant (except h), it makes the /k/ sound. 

Vowels, however, change things a bit. When followed by the vowels a, o, or u, the letter C still makes the /k/ sound. However, when followed by the vowels e, i, or y, it makes the /s/ sound. When C makes the /k/ sound, that is often referred to as the hard sound.  The /s/ sound, however, is referred to as the soft sound for the letter C. 

This can be such a complicated concept for many of our struggling young readers and spellers, and it helps to have a visual reference for support. In a recent LETRS training, our instructor shared with us the idea of a train track illustration. The "C Train" changes it's direction (and sound) whenever it encounters the letters e, i, or y.  She sketched her own train on tracks and signal light with a letter on each light. I absolutely loved this concept, so I created my own rule posters and resources to use with my students. (This resource is available in the Tally Tales TPT store.)

As you can see, this product includes the explanatory rule poster, complete with examples. I have also included the "C Train" illustration in which the sound of C transitions from /k/ (its hard sound) to /s/ (its soft sound) any time it encounters the letters e, i, or y.

Also included is a sort activity, which students can use to practice distinguishing between the sounds of C within words.

The Letter G The letter G is similar to the letter C.  When followed by the vowels a, o, or u, G still makes the hard sound /g/. However, when followed by the vowels e, i, or y, it makes the soft sound /j/.   

G is a bit trickier to deal with, because it doesn't follow the rule as often as C. In fact, you can really only trust G to follow the rules approximately 60% of the time. (Don't you just love the English language?!?) Some notable exceptions include get, girl, give, gift.  I have included both examples and exceptions on the explanatory rule poster within this product. In addition, I have created the "G Train" poster, which demonstrates the transition from /g/ (its hard sound) to /j/ (its soft sound) any time it encounters the letters e, i, or y. Again, exceptions are included on the illustration to help students gain familiarity with those as well. 
As with the letter c, I also included a sort activity for the letter G, which students can use to practice distinguishing between the sounds of G within words.
If interested, you can access this entire product here in the Tally Tales TPT store. I hope this post is helpful to you! Please feel free to share any resources, ideas, or questions you may have related to this concept.