Phonics Warm-Up (E-Friends Version)
Name(s) of Teacher(s): Nora Schleupner
Class/Grade/Language Level: ES Grades 1-4 (can be modified for Grades 5-6)
Textbook and specific lesson: N/A
Goal: To introduce students to English phonics and the alphabet, as well as to practice pronunciation and basic word formation.
Preparation: Phonics flashcards (see below)
These flashcards are slightly different from the standard 26 alphabet flashcards, as they also cover phonetic sounds like [th], [ng], [ar], [igh], etc. It’s best to look up a list of English phonics while making the set.
To make these flashcards, start with writing the phonic in both uppercase and lowercase letters (for example [Aa], [Bb], [Zz]) at the top of the card. Next, include an example image that relates to the phonic sound (for example, [Aa] card has an image of an apple, [Bb] card has an image of a bear, etc.). Optionally, you can add the English word for the image below (for example, writing “apple” at the bottom of the [Aa] card). Once you have a complete set made, laminate the set to preserve them for repeated use.
These cards should be large enough for the whole class to see, so anywhere from B5 to A4 size paper would work best. Also, it is best that these flashcards have some way to stick to your blackboard/whiteboard, so adding magnetic backing to the opposite side of the card is recommended.
Class time: 10-15 minutes
Step 1: Start with placing any learned phonics on the board. Have the students first run through each of the “letters’ names”/alphabet names. Next, have the students go through each learned phonic individually, making sure to stop and review ones they’re specifically stuck on. The goal should be to briefly review the learned phonics before moving on to new phonics.
Step 2: Introduce new phonics flashcards to the class, anywhere from 1-3 phonics cards per class. Start by showing the flashcard and asking for the alphabet name (in the case of phonics with multiple letters, have the students try to name each of the letters). Next, point to the example image on the flashcard and ask the students what it is in English. If they only know the Japanese word for the image, you can use this time to teach them the English word.
After introducing the alphabet name and the example image, introduce the “alphabet’s pronunciation”/phonic and repeat multiple times. When saying the phonics, you can also include a gesture for easier understanding (for example, make a gesture of breaking a stick when pronouncing the [k] phonic). Make sure to say the phonic sound clearly and consistently. Toward the end, try to have the students repeat the phonic and gesture.
Step 3: Briefly review the list of learned phonics one more time, making sure to include the new phonics at the end. This extra practice is a good transition into the word formation step.
Step 4: Practice basic word formation. On the board, write a simple word(s) that includes only the learned phonics (“HAT”, “MAP”, “TOP”, etc.). First, ask the students for the alphabet name of each letter. Next, sound out each individual phonic in the word. Have the students repeat after you, gradually increasing the speed of the sounds until you say the word naturally. Say the word as a whole to the students, and have them repeat the word back to you. Optionally, you can explain the meaning of the word in Japanese.
Step 5: Phonics game/activity. This can vary depending on the level of the class, but these games should focus on having the students identifying the phonics or words. Here are some example activities:
-Phonic Identification: Say a phonic to the class, and choose one student to match the phonic to the flashcard.
-Missing Phonic: Write an incomplete word on the board (such as “__ A P”). Say a word that fits the incomplete word on the board (“MAP”, “TAP”, “CAP”, etc.) and have the students try to identify the missing phonic. The missing phonic can be any place within the word.
-Word Lists: Write 3-5 rows of similar words on the board, as seen below: CAP MET HOT MAP PET HIT NAP VET HAT GAP JET HUT
Say one of the words out to the class, and choose one student to guess which word from the list is the correct one.
-Phonics Karuta: A version of karuta that matches voiced phonics to phonics karuta cards. This game requires small sets of phonics karuta cards similar to the main phonics flashcard set. This game can be played in pairs or small groups.