Robot Game and Sound Game
These are listening games that will prepare student to learn to read and spell words. The student does not need to know any letters to play these games. The teacher uses picture cards from the sets listed below. The same cards are used for both games. The sets of cards are set up so that the first sets used are the easiest. The easiest sets are the compound words. The next easiest are the sets with two-syllable words. Next, do the one syllable words with only two sounds. Finally, do the one syllable words with three sounds. Print the cards on lightweight cardstock. Each file contains four complete sets of cards. The stack of pages is to be cut into four sections. Copy shops will cut the whole stack at once for a reasonable fee. Each stack of cards will then be in the right order. Put a rubber band around each different set in each stack, and store in a shoebox.
Put one set of pictures in rows on a table or pocket chart. The teacher "talks like a robot" by saying the separate sounds for one of the pictures. For example, the teacher would say "c......a.......t" for the word cat. Each sound is pronounced separately and distinctly, with a pause of about two seconds between each sound. The student looks at all the pictures, and tries to mentally put the sounds together to form a word that matches one of the pictures. In this case, the student would find and pick up the picture of a cat. Then the student is to "say it fast", that is, say the word "cat" in the regular way, without separating the sounds. The student gets to pick up and keep the card in a separate stack until the game is over. Play continues until all the cards are taken. Students can play individually or in small or large groups, taking turns, under the supervision of the teacher.
The sound game can be played with any small tokens, such as small cubes, teddy bear counters, buttons, pennies, or small erasers designed to fit on the ends of pencils. The tokens will represent each part of a compound or two-syllable word, or each individual sound in a one-syllable word.
The sound game is basically the robot game in reverse. Show one picture at a time to the student. Line up two or three cubes or other tokens (as needed) on the table just above or below the picture. In a small group, place the picture so that all can see, and have each student line up the tokens on the table in front of them. Be sure tokens are lined up horizontally. Students are to look at the picture and say the separate sounds in the word, one sound at a time, with a slight pause in between. As they say the sounds, they are to touch or push back each token, going from left to right, moving a different token for each sound. This is a challenging task for beginners. If they have already played the robot game, they will have some idea of what your want them to do. Model by doing the activity for them many times, and have them repeat after you. Eventually, they will be able to see a card and do the activity correctly without help. As you work with the student, emphasize the order of the sounds and the position of the tokens. You want the students to get used to the idea of first sound, second sound, and last sound. As you touch the tokens, say "This is the first sound, /b/. This is the second sound, /ee/......../b/../ee/.. are the sounds in bee. There is a strong tendency to say connected sounds. Insist that every sound is separated, modelling as needed. When doing the sets of compound words and two-syllable words, the student only needs to say each word part or syllable. For these sets, it is not necessary to say the individual sounds.