Games as Learning Tools: Customized lesson plans phonics

A great way to understand how to teach phonics and making learning to read fun is to introduce a music appreciation lesson plan approach that teaches the importance of isolating individual letter sounds, prior to introducing the letter-sound relationships called phonics.

Screen-Scene Generation
(televisions, computers, cell phones)

To capture the divided attention of modern-family high-tech children who are surrounded by computers, gadgets and TV, reading exercises can and must compete for their interest levels using high-variety, (no-technology), familiar family card games and learning reinforcement activities.  In addition to a unique action-spelling technique referenced in the True Stories, #3 section of the website and in the making letters dance section below, the following learning games represent interactive, fun and effective learning activities that involve a child's mind, body, carefree spirit and family members!

phonics for kids / phonics for adults


Write featured letters or words on blank index cards or pieces of paper; (make double sets of each letter or word).  Mix them up and then lay them face down on a flat surface or table.  Take turns selecting and turning over two cards; if the cards are a match the player stacks them face down near them and is awarded with another turn. At the end of the game, the player with the majority of cards (matches) is declared the winner.  To make the game more challenging, the player can be made to read the word on the card(s) or to say the correct letter sound.  If they are unable to, they forfeit their turn.
To spice up the game, if a student has been taught the letter-sound motions method, they can also be required to sound-move the letter or action-spell the word.

Sound Islands Game

Write the feature letters or words on sheets or ½ sheets of paper, place them on the floor around the room and have the child hop from one island to the next  saying the sound or reading the word they land on.

Sound Run Game

*should only be done with slide-sounds

Write featured letter(s) on index cards or pieces of paper; ask child to stand at one end of the room and hold the sound until he reaches the other side of the room. 

Can also use this game to spell out 2-letter words:


Tape the letter on the far side of the room; give the child the letter and ask them to hold the sound until he or she reaches the posted letter; then slide the sound card in their hand into the posted sound;  
Ask them to repeat the slide sounds fast and say the word.

Sound Strips Game

Write the featured letters or words on strips of paper and tape or post to a wall  
for sound practice. Each time a new set of letters or words are learned, create
additional sound-strips. As an added challenge, use a timer during the reading 
of the words or the reciting of sounds. (If the student has been taught the
letter-sound motions method, they can also be required to simultaneously
sound-move and say the letter sound).

How Letters Sing and Dance
 Sound Pictures (sing)
 Sound Motions (dance)
Sound motions present a fun and memorable way to action spell words
and physically connect with letter sounds.

  • This action method also provides a physical recreation of letter sounds and words which is especially beneficial for hands-on physical learners.
  • Excellent support tool for parents who want to help, yet not directly supply answers to struggling readers.
  • Helpful decoding tool for readers challenged with letter/word reversals, guessing, sight-reading or memorizing and dyslexia.


Making Reading Fun

Download blank copies of bingo game board templates or simply
draw your own version on a blank sheet of paper. Randomly write
in the featured letters or words that you are currently working on in
the box squares. Also write the featured letters or words on scraps
of paper and pull them from a container of your choice. If you
don't have colored chips on hand you can use coins, or additional
scraps of paper. Each time a new set of letters or words are
learned, create additional bingo boards.