In anticipation of my next YouTube video, I’d like to share the following exercise for front vowels. The basic game is a combination of activities you are likely familiar with, but the sequence nicely challenges students to practice more and more independently. You can easily adapt the game for practice with other target sounds.
Step 1 – Place students in small groups of 2 or 3. Give each group a set of cards (see Front vowels_activity handout). Note that one set = 20 cards cut out.
Step 2 – First, have students lay out all the name cards: Jean, Jim, Jane, Jen, and Jan. Then ask them to sort the remaining cards according to the vowel sounds. They must match each card to the key sounds represented by the name cards, i.e., all the words with /i/ will be grouped with “Jean”, all the words with / ɪ / will be grouped with “Jim”, etc.
Step 3 – Correct students’ choices in the sorting task, and then do a choral listen-repeat of each grouping.
Step 4 – Have them shuffle the cards and place them face down in a pile. Taking turns, each student will draw two cards at a time. They must make sentences using their two cards. After stating the sentence, the other student(s) must pose one question each to ask for more details using those same two key words. Place the cards to the side after they are used. Model:
Student A: [Draws cards “Jean” and “friend”.] Jean is my friend.
Student B: How long have you and Jean been friends?
Student C: Do you and your friend Jean study or work together?
>> Student B now draws two new cards.