5 Activities to Help You Teach Phonics & Improve Your Lessons
Teaching phonics to children is fun for a while, but it can easily become boring if you are teaching it too often. When you need to use the same strategy and book over and over again, the fun challenges and lessons simply lose their charm. So, instead of trying to find some fun ways in the old ways, you can try out these five activities that help in teaching phonics.
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Give the learner a camera and send them on an adventure. Ask him to search for objects and take photos of one object per letter. Starting from an airplane or an ant to a zebra or a zipper, they can take pictures of all kinds of things. The only rule with this activity is to take one picture for each letter.
Photography is a great way to learn many skills and if used right, it can help you teach a child anything you want while having fun in the process. In addition to developing their photography skills, you will be teaching them to pay attention to details, revise the alphabet and its order, and simply get creative. But most importantly, you will be teaching them phonics.
Once children gather these photos, you can create a whole alphabet book by using those pictures. This activity can be so fun, you will probably be able to use it for a long, long time.
Note: if you’re teaching young learners you can still do this – just stick to items in the classroom!
Play Alphabet Ball
Have you heard of the Alphabet Ball game? Physical activity is good for everyone, but learning in the process is also possible. In fact, children can learn better when they are having fun, so why not combine exercise with phonics teaching?
This game can be adapted to many subjects you need to teach and has several levels of play. It can be used for toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children. All you will need to get is a marker and a ball – children will surely want to play.
Spell Words for Them
‘’When you spell the words for a student phonetically, they can learn how to spell by listening and writing at the same time. I find that the more often you do this, the better can the student comprehend the phonetic sounds of our alphabet’’ – says Sandra Jefferson, a psychology expert.
The first and second activity promoted creativity and physical exercise in addition to learning phonics, while this one boosts the writing skills. It is definitely an activity to consider – teaching a child to write and understand phonics at the same time is a grand achievement for both the learner and the teacher.
All you have to do here is get a notebook and give it to the child. Aid him in creating a list of his favorite games, toys, or friends he plays with. Spell every word phonetically until the child writes it all by himself.
Use Phonics Books
There are many phonics books (check out our list of top ESL books) out there to use, but you can also create your own books. Every time you introduce a new rule to the learner, create a new page in the book. All it takes is using a marker to write a large letter in the form of the phoneme on a page. Then, you can let the learner color or decorate it. This should help the phoneme to stick to their mind.
If you wish to use a ready phonics book, find a variety of them. Include those that fit the learner’s knowledge level and tackle it step-by-step. You can even combine different books to make learning more fun.
Of course, it is best to do all the reading in a special corner for reading. This corner should always contain the books that teach phonics, so that the child can get back to them whenever he feels the need to do so. Make this spot very comfortable, so that the child looks forward to learning in it.
Using only books and physical activities will eventually become boring and you might need to introduce something new to the classroom. Teach a child phonics by using phonics DVDs. There are many available on the market.
When you select a video for the student to watch and learn phonics, make sure to watch it with him. You can let the child watch the entire DVD and talk to him when it ends. Asking them to recall what was said and done in the video can prove to be an excellent way to reinforce their knowledge, and can make for a really fun conversation.
All these activities can be combined and implemented through various levels and learning stages, as well as different age groups of children. Remember – these are to aid you in teaching phonics, not take over your task to do so. So, use them in combination with your own set of teaching skills, and you will find that learning can be very enjoyable both for you and the learner.
This post was written by Diana Clark, a former teacher that gave up her educator career for something she always dreamed about – writing. Diana is a freelance writer at Awriter. Feel free to follow Diana on Twitter.