Teaching phonemic awareness is an important part of the Kindergarten curriculum. Not sure what phonemic awareness is? Read more about the importance of phonemic awareness here. There are five main activity types to practice in Kindergarten- rhyming and alliteration, phoneme categorization, oral blending, oral segmentation, and phoneme substitution. These strategies help students develop their phonemic awareness skills, which will help build strong readers. Today, I am sharing all about oral blending, plus some of my go-to oral blending activities for you to try with your students.
What is Oral Blending?
Oral blending is hearing sounds (or syllables), and being able to blend them to make the word. For example, the teacher says “/b/…/a/…/t/”, the student listens, repeats the sounds, then says the word “bat”.
You can do oral blending with words that have 2, 3, 4, 5 or more sounds! Typically in Kindergarten, you should stick with words that have 2-4 sounds, but by the end of the year, students will be able to possibly blend words with 4 or 5 words.
One tool I love to use when practicing oral blending are these Listening Phones. Have your students say the sounds and then blend the words together using the phone. The phone helps amplify the sounds, making it easier for students to blend the words. You can find these phones here.
Activity #1- Listen and Draw
For this activity, your students will need either a piece of paper or a whiteboard. You will slowly say the sounds of a word /j/…/e/…/t/ and then have them whisper the word to themselves. They will draw a picture of the word.
Activity #2- “Driving” the Sounds Together
This one is super simple and can be used to help students who may be having trouble blending the sounds and hearing the word. You will need a toy car or truck for this activity. Using the students arm, have them drive the car, repeating the sounds of a word you say- shoulder for beginning sound, elbow for middle sound, wrist for ending sound. Then have them drive the faster, blending the sounds again until they say the word. You can also do this activity on a table or floor, with three markers to distinguish each sound.
Activity #3- “I Spy” Pocket Chart Game
Place pictures of different words (can be CVC words or any skill you are practicing) in a pocket chart. Say “I Spy… and then say the sounds of one of the words, like “/m/…/a/…/p/.” Have one student go and find the word!
Looking for a small group lesson idea to practice oral blending? Check out this YouTube video here for a simple oral blending with CVC words lesson.
Digital Activity- Oral Blending Boom Cards
Want to have your students practice phonemic awareness during independent centers? These Boom Cards™ were created so that your students can still practice phonemic awareness skills without having you there guiding them through it!
Students will listen to each word, then click the letters that make the CVC word. If they get it correct, they hear a “ding!” and it will progress to the next card. You can also see how they do with each activity- how much time it takes them, how many they got right, how many times they played, etc. Learn more about Boom Cards™ here!
I hope you found some easy activities to try with your Oral Blending lessons! If you find your students are struggling with blending CVC words, learn why they might be struggling and some activities you can do to help support them in this post.