Tuesday, 22 November 2011



Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are (2x)


Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream   (2x)

Making phonics fun ( Maureen Howah)

Phoneme Bingo.

Objective : Using bingo cards to practice and listen for phonemes students have already learnt.
Estimated Time : 12 minutes
• Bingo cards and blank A 4 paper
Set of CVC words
1.First explain that students should be given ready prepared cards. However, the participants will make their own.
2. Explain that the game is like bingo. Students get a card with 4 boxes each containing a CVC word that the students have learnt, e.g. sat/ pop/ map/ cot.
There should be 4 sets per game, so that not everyone has the same card.
3. Give each teacher half of an A4 sheet blank paper.
4. Have teachers fold paper into halves and continue folding into halves till they get a set of 16 boxes.
5. Write the following sets of words on the WB:
cot, map, sat, pop
cat, got, mop, gas
pot, top, cap, mat
cog, pat, sat, map
6. Have teachers copy down in any order one of the sets into 4 sets of frames/boxes till all the sets are completed.
7. Call out individual phonemes, e.g. s, o, p, etc.
8. Teachers to search for phonemes, trace over them and say the sound.
9. Write each phoneme on the board, i.e. this allows teachers (students) who are not fully sure of the grapheme sound correspondence to learn/participate.
10. When someone’s card is full, they shout bingo!
11. Point out that this can be done at a higher level whereby the teacher calls out the words, students search for the word, trace the phonemes saying each one and then the word.

Finally, ask teachers to consider how they can integrate these activities into their classroom. Which ones?
Reflect and discuss how this activity may benefit your students.
How would you present these activities to your students? (8 mins)

Making phonics fun ( Maureen Howah)

Letters, sounds and picture matching relay games

Objective : to recognise letter shapes and letter groups and say the sounds
Estimated Time
15 minutes
Letters, sounds and picture matching cards
1. Cut up 2 sets of matching pictures. Keep teacher’s clues
2.  Place picture cards and letters cards at the end of a playing field but in different piles.
3. Divide the class into two teams and line them up single
file at the starting line.
4. Read the first clue and the first sound of the word.
5. Have the first teacher in each team run to the object piles, find the correct matching cards and take them to you or to the end of the line.
6. The first team who gets the matching card correct, wins a point.
7. Each team member takes a turn, then sits down when he or she
returns to the end of the line.
8. The team with the most points win the race.
9. When the relay is finished, have teachers share their choices.
(Note: As an extension (or time permits), teachers could ask the students to say all the sounds in each word eg./s//n/ai/k/)

Making phonics fun ( Maureen Howah)

Letters and sounds – “Bang game”

Objective : grapheme recognition and word building
Estimated Time
12 minutes
• letters and ‘bang’ flash cards
1. Print and cut up flash cards. Print enough for two groups (depending on the numbers of teachers.)
2. Put all cards in a bag/paper bag and pass around to the teachers in their groups.
3. Teachers to pick a card and sound the grapheme. If correct they keep it.
4. They have to shout 'bang' if they pick the 'bang' card and put all their letters back into the bag. They keep the bang card.
5. Game is over when all the cards have been read. The winner is the one who has the most letters. 
6. As an extension, have the teachers make a word with their letters and sound the phonemes and read the word.
7. They then work in their groups and make more words. The winner is the one who can make the most 'real' words. (Make the game really pacey.)

Making phonics fun ( Maureen Howah)


Objective: Using a simple rhyming string or alliteration to teach phonic
Estimated Time
15 minutes
• pen, paper, course books and internet access
1. Have teachers listen to first three ( A to C ) alphabets of the song “Ants on the apple”
or teach song to the tune of  “skip to my lou tune “.

Ants on the apple, /a/, /a/, /a/ .
Ants on the apple, /a/, /a/, /a/ .
Ants on the apple, /a/, /a/, /a/ .
/a/ is the sound of A

2. Pair up teachers and have them make up chants or alliteration using their partner’s first name.
Eg.  Siti sits silently /s/, /s/, /s/
       Siti sits silently /s/, /s/, /s/
     Siti sits silently /s/, /s/, /s/
     /s/ is the sound of S.
3. Have teachers work on their own chants. They must not let their partner see their work.
4. Ask partners to predict the last word of each other’s chant. They then share their written chants.
5. Have one teacher sings and the other partner makes appropriate actions (using jolly phonics or other actions they are familiar with).
6. Have teachers sit in a circle and have each sing/share their chants with the class.
6. Tell teacher they can adapt to any context eg. instead of using children’s names they can use course books eg. (from Yr 1 book, p. 14 - Listening) phoneme /m/
“mop on a mat” /m/,/m/,/m/
/m/ is the sound of M
Or change the words to suit the lesson.

Making phonics fun ( Maureen Howah)

Name Match—Activity

Children's names are an excellent source of examples for initial activities. The Name Match can be used in circle time or outside, with a group large enough to include a wide variety of examples, or with a small group (chosen by the teacher in advance) to practice only a few phonemes.
To provide children with practice in identifying initial sounds in words which are meaningful to each child.
Estimated Time
15 minutes
• List of teachers’ first names, organized by phonemes
1. Create a list with the names of your teachers and the phoneme that represents the first sound in his or her name.
2. Have one teacher stand in front of the group. Ask the teacher if he or she sees someone else whose name begins with the same sound. If the teacher is correct, have the other person stand. If not, ask if anyone else in the group has a name that begins with the same sound.
3. When a match is made, have those teachers sit together, and ask another teacher to come forward. Continue matching names until all teachers whose names have the same initial phonemes are sitting together.
4. If some teachers have names with initial phonemes that do not match those of anyone else in the class, see if he or she can find an object or a picture in the room whose name has the same initial sound.
5. If anyone still doesn't have a match, ask the teacher if they know anyone with a matching name or have them make up a name that would match.
6. Have teacher s figure out the number of initial sounds that are represented by their names by counting the number of groups that were formed.
7. Teachers then work individually (or in pairs). Have them choose one of their classes and create a similar list (2 to 3) of name match of the initial sounds of their students. They then share to the group.


(Ruth Wajnyrb)


Dictogloss is a teaching procedure that involves the normal-speed dictation of a short text to a small group (4 – 5) of language students. The students take notes during the reading of the text.

Then, working in small groups, they piece together (reconstruct) the text as a cooperative endeavour. This is achieved by pooling the group’s notes and making grammatical decisions about the text. No dictionaries are to be used.

Finally, after each group has produced its own version of the text, the whole class gathers and the different versions are analysed, discussed and corrected.



1.    Choosing the text
·         The teacher chooses an appropriate text, perhaps practising a particular grammar point, involving vocabulary to review or on a particular theme / topic
·         Text-book texts may be used
·         Texts may be simplified first
·         A picture helps the process greatly.
·         3 – 5 sentences long. Cohesive across sentences. Longer texts can be used with more advanced groups.
2.    Prediction
·         brainstorm possible vocabulary from the title and picture
3.    Lexical Pre-teaching
·         pre-teach unfamiliar content words
·         students should be seated in their groups and be quite clear of the nature and aims of the task (perhaps need to explain the method in L1)

·         The text is read at normal speed
·         2 readings – during the first reading students listen without writing anything – during the second reading they write down content words as they are heard on their own paper – it is important that each member of the group writes down as much as he/she can understand, in order to participate in the group reconstruction

1.    Reconstruction
·         students pool their notes and construct a text – not trying to re-create the original text, but to produce a group text which is grammatically correct, contains the same information and is cohesive.
2.    Final Dictation
·         one final dictation (third dictation) at normal speed, during which students attempt to add further content words to their first list
3.    Final Reconstruction
·         students reconstruct a final group text on a large piece of poster paper and on an OHP transparency

·         all texts are placed on the wall for other groups to read
·         texts are then corrected for grammar and meaning, or teacher can collect the final texts and use as a base for remedial grammar teaching


·         can be used in any cultural setting, with any language and with any level of student
·         teaches grammar in context and in response to need in a particular situation
·         motivating for students and teachers
·         task-based learning
·         student-centred learning
·         communicative – to complete the task, the students must work cooperatively and use language (discussion, negotiation) – inevitably, some L1 will be used, but keeo this to a minimum
·         exposure to the concept of a text, on which many modern language curricula are based

Taken from:

Wajnyrb, Ruth 1990, Grammar Workout: The Dictogloss Method of Language Teaching: a text-based communicative approach to grammar


Forms of narratives:
Traditional Narratives: fairy tales, folk tales, myths and legends, parables, fables, moral tales
Modern narratives: science fiction, adventure, mysteries, heroes and villains, cartoons, horror stories, realistic fiction.

Structure of Narrative Texts
1.      Orientation
Who? (characters)                           Where?                                              When?
Writer sets the scene for the story, informing the reader of the time, place and main characters of the story. Often gives an idea of the action to follow. For beginning writers, this would be one or two sentences.

2.      Complication (What?)
Something goes wrong or a problem arises. This usually involves the main character and one or more of the minor characters. This is the part of the text which makes the story interesting, by developing problem situations which can then be resolved.
What went wrong in the story?                              Why did it happen?
Which characters were involved?

3.      Resolution (How?)
This is where the problem or complication is resolved. The events and characters return to normal in a satisfying way. However, there can be an unhappy resolution.
How was the problem solved?                              Who solved it?
How did they solve it?

4.      Re-orientation (or Coda)
Optional. The reader is made aware of how the characters have changed and what they have learned from dealing with the complication and its resolution. It may be written in the form of a moral to a story (such as in a fable).

Language Features of Narrative Texts
·            use of the simple past tense
·            contain characters which may be human, animal, realistic or imaginary
·            sequence of events shown through the use of conjunctions (‘joining words’) which build up relationships of time, addition, cause (eg because, so)
·            can be written in the first person (I, we) or the third person (he, she, they) Some may use the passive voice.
·            descriptive adjectives are used to enhance the visual imagery
·            use of adverbs and adverbial phrases
·            use a variety of verbs to refer to a character’s actions and thoughts (think, feel, do)
·            when dialogue is included in a narrative, it involves a change of tense: eg When he got home, he walked in the front door and went through to the kitchen. “Trish, what are you doing here?” he said. (He asked Trish what she was doing there?)



Monday, 21 November 2011








Phonic Games

Sound Jump        Aim: grapheme identification
Equipment:   grapheme cards, - one for each child
§  Children sit in circle, give every child a card which is placed on the floor in front of them.
§  Each child identifies their phoneme (sound), with help from others if necessary.
§  Teacher calls out a phoneme and the child with corresponding grapheme (letter) jumps up quickly
§  Meanwhile the rest of the class has to try to point to that grapheme before its owner has jumped up!

Box of sounds     Aim: grapheme & initial sound identification
Equipment:   grapheme cards, - one for each child, objects with initial sounds to match cards
§  Children sit in circle.
§  Look at the objects and identify initial sounds. Place objects in centre of circle.
§  Pass a box grapheme cards around the circle singing “Box of sounds, pass it round, pass it round, pass it round. Box of sounds pass it round, what sound is it?” (“London bridge is falling down” tune)
§  Child holding box at the end of the song takes out the top card, identifies sound and places it next to corresponding object.

Bag of objects    Aim: grapheme & initial sound identification
Equipment:   grapheme cards,  objects with initial sounds to match cards, bag for objects
§  Children sit in circle.
§  Look at grapheme cards, identify sounds and arrange in centre of circle
§  Pass a bag of objects around the circle singing “Bag of objects, pass it round, pass it round, pass it round. Bag of objects pass it round, what’s in the bag?” (London bridge is falling down” tune)
§  Child holding bag at the end of the song takes out an object, identifies it and it’s initial sound, then places it next to the corresponding card.

Alliteration (initial sound) match     Aim: grapheme & initial sound identification
Equipment:   grapheme cards, - one for each child, alliteration cards
§  Children sit in circle, give every child a card which is placed on the floor in front of them.
§  Each child identifies their phoneme (sound), with help from others if necessary.
§  Teacher looks at an alliteration card and calls out the subjects (e.g. whales in the water)
§  Child with corresponding grapheme card calls out the sound and holds up their card.

Noughts and crosses     Aim: grapheme identification
Equipment: whiteboard, 3 coloured markers
§  Divide class into 2 groups (e.g. name them 2 different colours), and sit them apart.
§  In black, draw a noughts & crosses grid and write in 9 graphemes/digraphs.
§  A member from first team calls out a phoneme from the square he wants to go first.
§  Someone else from his team has to call out a word with a corresponding initial sound.
§  Teacher then rubs out the grapheme and replaces it with a smiley face in that team’s colour.
§  Continue with other team until either team win by winning 3 smiley faces in a row.

Stepping Stones      Aim: grapheme identification
Equipment:   grapheme cards
§  Place cards in a large circle
§  Children step from card to card while singing “walk around and find a sound, …………………   What will I stop on?”
§  Going round the circle, each child jumps back off their card and immediately calls out the sound.


Say a sound     Aim: grapheme & initial sound identification
Equipment:   alliteration cards
§  Hold up alliteration card while children sing the rhyme
§  Starting with the adult, everyone has to think of something beginning with the sound on the card
Find a sound        Aim: grapheme & initial sound identification
Equipment:   grapheme cards in a box
§  Children sit in a circle
§  The box of cards are passed around the circle while singing: “pass the sound box round and round etc ……… what can you find?”
§  Child identifies the phoneme and then finds something in the room beginning with that sound and places the card next to the object/ brings it back to the circle

Who can cross the river?              Aim: grapheme identification & cvc blending
Equipment:   white board, marker pens
§  Draw a river across the board. Write 3 letters at the top  (ones which make up a cvc word)
§  Draw a crocodile in the  river and a child’s name next to the cvc word
§  Sing “who can cross the river, who can cross the river, who can cross the river and reach the other side?”
§  Child has to identify sounds and blend to make the cvc word
§  When child is successful, then sing “…………………has crossed the river …………… and reached the other side”.   Write child’s name on other side of river.
§  ALTERNATIVE VERSION:  lay out 2 ropes to represent river. Place 3 carpet squares as stepping stones across the river, place 3 grapheme cards - one on each carpet square.
§  Child sounds out the phonemes as s/he steps across the river, then blends the sounds together to hear the word.

Pairs        Aim: grapheme  identification
Equipment:    grapheme cards - 2 sets (select no more than 5- 8 different letters)
§  Sit children in horse shoe in front of you
§  Identify phonemes with group as you hold up the cards, then place them upside down in a grid pattern in centre of horse shoe facing the children.
§  Facing into the horse shoe so the group can all see, let each child turn over 3 cards, identifying phonemes as each card is turned over. Ensure cards are replaced in same position if not “won”.
§  Wining cards are placed in front of successful children.
“Sound jump” game could be played at end of game.

Pick a letter      Aim: grapheme & initial sound identification
Equipment:   grapheme cards, - one for each child, in a box
§  Sit children in a circle and give first child the box.
§  Child picks a card from the box, identifies phoneme (sound) and thinks of something beginning with that phoneme.
§  Pass box to next child and repeat.        Try to keep the pace fast.

I spy with my little eye       Aim: grapheme & initial sound identification
Equipment:   grapheme cards in a box, and objects/pictures with initial sounds to match graphemes.
§  Sit children in a circle and place objects in centre.
§  Give first child the box.
§  Child picks a card from the box, and says, “I spy with my little eye something beginning with …… (says sound on card) and looks for a corresponding object. Collects object and places it with card in front of him.
§  Continue game round circle.

Medial Vowels     Aim: grapheme & medial sound identification
Equipment:   objects -with cvc construction ( in basket), the 5 vowel grapheme cards
§  Sit children in horse shoe in front of you
§  Identify vowel graphemes and place in horse shoe, facing children
§  Pass basket of objects while singing abcdefg etc.  Child holding basket on “z”, chooses an object, says its name then segments its sounds to identify its middle sound. The child then places the object underneath the correct vowel. Repeat until all objects have been placed.
§  This game could be ended by writing the spelling of an object on board and asking a child to read the word by blending the sounds then collecting the object and placing it back in the basket.

This game could also be adapted to focus on initial or final sounds.

Initial Sound Bingo       Aim: grapheme & initial sound identification
Equipment :  selection of objects with different initial sounds, A4 boards divided into 3 columns, basket, grapheme cards to match object’s initial sounds
§  Each child has a board on which they place any 3 grapheme cards in the 3 columns. Each child identifies their graphemes
§  Teacher holds up an object for the children to name it and identify its initial sound. Child with corresponding card claims object and places it next to its letter.
§  First child with 3 objects is the winner………… but who will be second, third etc?

Initial Sound Jump Up    Aim: grapheme & initial sound identification
Equipment : grapheme cards
Give each child a grapheme card. You say a word and the child with the grapheme representing the initial sound must jump up before the other children point to it. If the children seem receptive to continuing, repeat with different selection of graphemes.

Alliteration Generation      Aim: generation of alliteration words
Equipement: selection of objects to pass around circle and grapheme cards to match initial sounds, basket

·         Lay objects in centre of circle and explain that the first child will pick a card from a pile handed to him (in a basket) identify the sound, then find the object which begins with the same sound. Encourage the group to call out other words, which begin with same sound.
·         The object will then be passed around the circle with each child saying”……..(cat) begins with cer and …….(child thinks of another word which begins with the same sound) collar begins with cer. “ 
·         The next child begins by repeating “cat begins with cer and (adds his own word)”. Words can be repeated.
·         Repeat game with another object.

Beverley Gilbert  02 October 2011