When introducing letters for the first time or as a review, it is important to explain that every letter has a Name, Shape, Sound and Feel. This is the beginning of students making the sound to letter connection that eludes many students beginning in Kindergarten. When a student is presented with a Multi-sensory way to think about sounds and the letters associated with the sound, students become better readers and spellers!
Simply present this poster when introducing any letter
– for the first time (pre-K or Kindergarten) or when introducing cursive (2nd)-
Say: “Every letter has a Name, a shape (write letter on board), a sound
And a FEEL” =>
this is where you can introduce a multi-sensory way to think about the sounds of letters:
Say: “When we make the sound of (letter being intro’d) we use our mouth to make the sound. What are the 3 main parts of the mouth we might use to make a sound. Lead students to the Tongue, Teeth, Lips. When using this method, confusion with making similar sounds such as /th/ & /f/ will be avoided b/c student is not only ‘hearing’ the sound, but also ‘feeling’ the sound.
Also, checking whether the sound is ‘voiced’ or ‘unvoiced’ is helpful with similar ‘feeling’ sounds, such as, /p/ & /b/.
Have students gently place two fingers on their throat while making these sounds. The /b/ sound is ‘voiced & students will feel a vibration when making the sound; However, the /p/ sound is ‘unvoiced’ and the student should not feel a vibration. Our mouths make these sounds in the same way, using our lips, so the only way to tell these sounds apart is teaching this strategy. Teachers can extend this exercise by talking about the Vocal Cords – like rubberbands, vibrate when we send air through them in order to make a sound, like /b/. But, some sounds are simply made by a puff of air, such as the /p/ sound.
Other voiced & unvoiced sounds pairs to practice are:
t & d
f & v
k & g
s & z
ch & j
Take a look at my other products that compliment this Mult-sensory approach to Sound-Letter Correspondence