Developed by British schoolteachers Sue Lloyd and Sara Wernham, Jolly Phonics is a synthetic phonics program that enables children to progress from rudimentary to complex skills via a regimented system. Leveraging a multi-sensory method, Jolly Phonics introduces actions for the 42 letter sounds, according to the Jolly Learning website. Children learn four to five sounds per week, and they also learn how to order and blend sounds. Jolly Phonics teaching activities involve movement, mimicry and objects to animate phonics instruction.
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Actions and Mimicry
Combine the game of Simon Says and actions on the Jolly Phonics Action sheets to teach the 42 letter sounds. By using body movement and getting children on their feet, you help children to recall the sounds later. Begin with the first set of simplest sounds, which are /s/, /a/ and /t/. Use your whole body to wriggle like a snake as you make the "sss" sound. Cue the children to mimic your sound and movement. Advance to difficult sounds, such as /qu/ and /ou/, encouraging the children to act out ducks quacking and sailors yelling "Ahoy!"
Recognising Sounds in Words
Teach children to listen for individual sounds in a word. Start with three-letter words, such as "cap" or "top." Tap out each sound in the word as you pronounce it. Ask students to repeat the word, using taps. Extend the activity by having students identify and tap out words with the same initial, medial, or ending sound. Another activity is to add or subtract letters from a word to form new words. Use a felt or magnet board with letters that you can append or remove so that students can visualise the process. For example, words such as ice, us and ink can form the basis for other words. Add an "m" to ice to form mice, an "s" to ink to form sink and so forth.
Use a letter hunt game to reinforce the concept that sounds blend sequentially from left to right for reading. Place plastic alphabet letters into a feely bag. Set two pots on a shelf. Label one pot "Letters we know" and the other "Letters to learn." Ask students to figure out the word that you sound out from left to right. For example, you say, "Who has a c-a-t?" When students have learnt the sounds for the word, allow each child to take a turn reaching into the bag and pulling out one letter that matches a sound in the word. If the child succeeds, he can put the letter into the "Letters we know" pot.
Songs and Music
Gather the children together for a round of Jolly Songs. Isolate and emphasise the sound within each verse by singing these short, straightforward piggyback songs. Sing "The Snake in the Grass" to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell" to teach the /s/ sound, "Ants on My Arm" to the tune of "Skip to My Lou" for the /a/ sound and "Puff Out the Candles" to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus" for the /p/ sound. Have the children point to the printed letters on the Jolly songbook pages once they grow familiar with the songs and have begun to connect the sounds to letters.
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