Monday, February 8, 2016

A Sweet Multisensory Syllables Activity

Sometimes it's difficult to establish real-world connections for my students with the topics we discuss. Sure, we use techniques that can readily translate into their independent reading, and I always strive to promote carry-over with their homeroom classes. Still, it's not likely that they'll do much arm-tapping in their spare time, and I doubt they use sand trays very often outside my classroom. I am constantly challenging myself to find ways to help them realize that the things we do really are transferrable to the "real" world.

For example, we work with syllables constantly. Counting syllables, dividing syllables, identifying syllables, sorting syllables... these are daily features of my instruction with all classes. Considering this, I wondered, How can I get them to see syllables elsewhere?

And then I walked down the candy aisle while grocery shopping...

This week, I have one group that has been working on closed syllables, ending with the -tch pattern. So I picked up a box of sour patch kids.
I provided students with a printed version of the box image. First, they color-coded the differed sounds in the word "patch." This helped them to visualize the three different sounds that compose this word, as well as the letters used to spell each sound.
Next, they used sour patch kids to map the sounds beneath the letters, one piece of candy per sound.
Then, they each practiced reading the word, touching the "sounds" beneath the letters.
Beyond this, we used the sour patch kids to map sounds for additional -tch words. Of course, I let them enjoy a snack along the way, but even eating was a teachable experience; at times, they had to tell me each sound before they ate it, while at other times, I dictated which sound they could eat.

They had so much fun with this!

Another class is working on R-controlled syllables. For this group, I used Starburst!
Since this is a two-syllable word, we worked through our typical process of labeling and dividing the syllables in the word. 
Then, the students used starburst candy pieces to map the syllables, rather than sounds, for this word.
We transferred this idea (and continued using the Starburst pieces) to other multisyllabic words with r-controlled syllables throughout the lesson as well. 

In all, this was quite productive (and fun) for me and my students. It added a little extra flavor (sorry; I couldn't resist!) to our typical process for syllabication and sounds mapping. Not only this, but it also helped my students to realize that syllables are not just confined to schoolwork; they can use their knowledge of syllables outside the classroom as well. :)

Next up: Consonant-le Syllables!!!