Monday, June 1, 2015

Letter Sound Scavenger Hunt: "W" and "Y"

As my son and I have been working on beginning letter sounds, it has become evident that he confuses the sounds for "W" and "Y". When I hold up an item, or a picture of an item, that begins with "w", he will make the correct "wuh" sound, but he most often identifies it with the letter "Y". I can only speculate as to why, and that is the answer I came up with. The word "why" makes the "wuh" beginning sound and sounds like the letter "Y", so I think he is confusing the two for this reason. 

In keeping with my belief that authentic, meaningful activities, as opposed to structured, sit-down lessons, will help my son practice identifying the letters for each of these two sounds, I created a scavenger hunt. Turns out there are very few "W" and "Y" items in our house, so I had to be creative.

Here, my son found the letter "W" stuck to our bookshelf. He is very familiar with the letter "B", so he knew the "W" stood for something else. I asked him what the bookshelf is made out of, to which he replied "wuh, wuh...wood!"

To label "Y" items, I had to resort to the color of this folder, again prompting my son with clues...

After our scavenger hunt, I laid out a number of "W", "Y", and for an extra challenge "M" items. We had just learned about tally charts, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to have my son practice making tally marks while practicing these letter items...

We took one item at a time, discussed what it was, and identified it's beginning sound. Then, my son made a tally mark in the correct letter column...

Of course, we had to sample the Nilla wafers :-)

After we went through every item in our collection, we compared the tally mark values. I asked my son questions, such as "Which letter has to most items in our collection?", "Which item has the least, or smallest?", and "What does each mark represent?"

To close our activity, I had my son choose one item for each letter and place it in the corresponding column. This really helped him distinguish between the "wuh", "yuh", and "mmmmm" sounds!

I'm always looking for fun, authentic ways to expose my son to beginning letter sounds, so if you have any activities you like to use, please share them with me :-)

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