Summary of Lesson Plan/Activity:
This activity uses Lego blocks to help children form a connection between the sounds they hear in words and the letters used to phonetically spell words. It is targeted at Foundation, but as you will see, is easily adaptable to multiple year levels.
A big thanks to Jenny from ABC Jenny for submitting this resource to us! Thanks Jenny!
Australian Curriculum Links:
- Produce some lower case and upper case letters using learned letter formations (ACELY1653)
- Know that spoken sounds and words can be written down using letters of the alphabet and how to write some high-frequency sight words and known words (ACELA1758)
- Know how to use onset and rime to spell words (ACELA1438)
- Recognise rhymes, syllables and sounds (phonemes) in spoken words (ACELA1439)
- Recognise the letters of the alphabet and know there are lower and upper case letters (ACELA1440)
Children should be able to recognise and write some letters of the alphabet. They do not need to know all letters and sounds to complete this activity. However, they need to understand the concept that spoken sounds represent letters which can be written to make words.
To give children confidence in having a go at sounding out when spelling words, chose words which you know the child is able to write the letters of.
Lesson/Activity Idea and Modifications:
This activity can be used in a small group setting or with an individual student.
- Place single Lego blocks in front of children with a whiteboard and a whiteboard marker.
- The teacher says a word they would like the students to spell. Start with CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words such as mat, fun, sit.
- Ask children to repeat the word aloud and pick up a Lego block each time they hear a different sound.
- For example, for the word ‘mat’ children would hear three sounds, /m//a//t/ and pick up three Lego blocks.
- Tell the children to place the blocks on the whiteboard and that each block in their hand represents a letter.
- Ask them to write the letter the beginning sound makes in front of the first block, the letter the middle sound makes in front of the second block and the letter the final sound makes in front of the third block.
- Remove the blocks and ask them to read the word they have written.
Prior Activity 1 (two letter words)
A simpler activity is only using a two letter word such as at.
- Once students understand the concept of listening for sounds and that each sound represents a letter. Begin to use three letter words.
- Keep the word at on their whiteboard and say words that only change the beginning sound such as hat, mat, fat, sat, pat, cat.
- This is a great confidence boosting activity for children which will help them to ‘have a go’ at spelling words during their writing.
Extension activity 1 (digraphs)
- Using the original procedure place single and double Lego blocks in front of the children.
- Explain that the double blocks represent digraphs th, ch, sh. Two letters which represent one sound.
- Say aloud a CCVC (Consonant, consonant, vowel consonant) word such as that, chip, shut.
- Children repeat the above steps saying the word aloud, picking up blocks for each sound, writing what letters the sounds represent.
Extension Activity 2 (vowels)
- Place 5 red blocks, 1 green block and 20 blue blocks in front of the children.
- Explain to the children that the red blocks represent vowels (a,e,i,o,u), the green block the letter y with the remaining 20 blue blocks the consonants.
- Complete the original activity several times noticing that there is always a red block in each word.
- Ask students whether they can make a word using only blue blocks.
- Discuss the letter y how that it represents a vowel and a consonant.
- Pre and post-test on current spelling words
- Observation of their story writing and whether more sounds in words are written.
- Formal assessment South Australian Spelling Test (External Link)
- Observation of their confidence in having a go at spelling a word in spelling tests or story writing.
- Individual white boards and markers (or blackboards and chalk)
- List of words you would like the group of children or individual child to practise spelling.
- White board eraser or chalkboard duster
- Single and Double Lego Blocks
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