Some students need smaller-than-average steps and extra practice to get spelling patterns into long-term memory. Games are a great, nag-free way to get in lots of targeted, extra repetitions.
- /ae/ spelt AI as in ‘rain’ and AY as in ‘day’.
- /ee/ spelt EE as in ‘see’ and EA as in ‘sea’.
- /oe/ spelt OA as in ‘boat’ and OW as in ‘slow’.
- /er/ spelt UR as in ‘turn’ and IR as in ‘bird’.
- /e/ spelt E as in ‘bend’ and EA as in ‘bread’.
- /ou/ spelt OW as in ‘now’ and OU as in ‘out’.
- /ooh/ spelt OO as in ‘moon’ and UE as in ‘blue’.
- /ie/ spelt IGH as in ‘night’ and I as in ‘find’ (free to download as a sample here)
- /oo/ spelt OO as in ‘look’ and OUL as in ‘could’.
- /or/ spelt OR as in ‘for’ and AW as in ‘law’.
- /oi/ spelt OI as in ‘coin’ and OY as in ‘boy’.
- /ar/ spelt AR as in ‘car’ and A as in ‘grass’.
- /air/ spelt AIR as in ‘hair’ and ARE as in ‘care’.
- /ear/ spelt EAR as in ‘dear’ and EER as in ‘deer’.
These cards match the Phonic Books Moon Dogs 3 Vowels books and workbooks‘ teaching sequence, and the Spelfabet Workbook 5, but can be reorganised for use with other teaching sequences.
One simple game I’ve been playing a lot lately is War, where each player flips a card over, and whoever’s card is highest takes both. I list Joker, Ace, King, Queen, Jack then numbers 10-2 on the board, for kids who aren’t familiar with playing cards or are still working on their number concepts. The aim of the game is to get all the cards. It’s easy to make sure a child wins by sneakily dealing them most of the highest cards.
I also use these cards for random spelling review e.g. play a few games then have a spelling quiz with 10 words from cards randomly drawn from the pack.
Fans of the delightfully nerdy History of English Podcast will know that English speakers have been playing cards since the 1400s, so there’s no shortage of games you can play with these standard decks of playing cards. If you search Youtube for ‘kids playing card games’ there are stacks of videos, or we have some here.
The Spelfabet shop used to offer individual decks of cards and discounted sets, as well as free samples. Not surprisingly, most people downloaded all the freebies, then many came back and bought sets. Almost no-one got individual decks, so apart from the freebies, these are no longer available. They were just cluttering up the shop.
I hope your learners enjoy many hours of low-tech, low-cost, high-fun reading practice using these or other Spelfabet phonics playing cards.