1. Overview

Swap letters in two-sound words to build new words. This game introduces your child to the concept of swapping letters to make new words.

swap two sounds
L2: Swap Two Sounds

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2. Materials & Preparation

Print out the sound cards and the word work mat, preferably on sturdy card-stock paper. Cut apart the sound cards and select the ones needed for this game. For the word work mat, trim off the white edges and tape the pages together. Put the word work mat directly in front of your child. The word list is for the adult’s reference only.

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3. Activity

Video: How to play Swap Two Sounds

Start with a quick review of the vowel sounds and names (short and long vowel sounds), using the vowel sound cards.

Adult: Remember, these vowels are smart letters, because they can say their name
            and a sound. Tell me the name and sound for the vowels on these cards.

Child: [Gives name and sound for each of the vowel cards in turn.]
Adult: Now put the vowel cards on top of the matching letters on your mat.

Similarly, go through the selected consonant and digraph sound cards with your child. For each card, have her say the sound and then put the card on the appropriate square on the word work mat. Then introduce the game:

Adult: I’m going to show you how to swap some sounds and make new words.
            Listen carefully. Touch the first box at the bottom of your mat.
            Now find the /b/ sound card and put it there.

Child: [Finds and moves card.]
Adult: Good. Now find the /ēēē/ sound card. Is it a consonant or a vowel?
Child: Vowel?
Adult: Yes, because vowels are smart letters that can say their name and a sound.
            Find /ēēē/ and put it in the box next to the /b/ card.

Child: [Finds and moves card.]
Adult: Okay. Start here [point to left box] and give me that letter’s sound.
            Then move to the next card and give me the letter’s name. Get ready.
[Points to b card.] What sound?
Child: /b/
Adult: [Points to e card.] What name?
Child: /eee/
Adult: That’s the letter’s sound. What is its name?
Child: /ēēē/
Adult: Now start again, here. [point to left box.]
            Say this letter’s sound and then the next letter’s name.

Child: /b/ • • /ēēē/
Adult: Say them fast. What word?
Child: B-ēēē. Be. Be!
Adult: Yes, you made the word be. “I will be leaving soon.” Be.

Once the child has built one word, you will show her how to swap one of the letters (and sounds) to make a new word.

Adult: Now put the /b/ card back in its spot on the mat,
            and put the /h-h-h/ card at the bottom where /b/ was.
            What sound card are you getting?

Child: /h/
Adult: Right. Tell me the sound of the first letter and then the name
            of the second letter. Start here.
[Point to left square.]
Child: /h/ • • /ēēē/
Adult: Say them fast. What word?
Child: H-ēēē. He.
Adult: Yes. You turned the word be into he. “He is a tall boy.”

Now show your child how he can also swap out the vowel sound to change the word.

Adult: Now put the /ēēē/ card back in its spot on the mat,
            and get the card that says /īīī/.
            Put the /īīī/ card where the /ēēē/ card was.

Child: [swaps cards]
Adult: Say the sound cards fast. What word?
Child: /h/ • /īīī/. Hi!

NOTE: Always use vowel names in creating these two-sound words.

Now continue to work your way through the provided word list, swapping one letter at a time to move from one word to the next.

Once the child has correctly made all the swaps in the list, reverse the order. Go through the list backward, starting with the and working your way back to be.

Continue working with this activity for several days or until the child has a firm grasp of the game and can read each new word correctly and quickly. Do not move on to L3: First Sound Swap until he has mastered this activity!

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4. Small Groups (2-5 children)

Lesson Objective: Using lower-case alphabet cards, children will hear the individual sounds in a two-phoneme word, use the corresponding alphabet cards to build and read the printed word, then follow oral instructions to swap the letters and sounds in the word to build and read a new word.

GELDS (Georgia Early Learning & Development Standards): CLL6.4f (closest standard)

Georgia Standards of Excellence: ELAGSEKRF2.e

Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.E

Additional Materials:

  • optional: pocket chart

Adaptation: Read the main activity, watch the video, and follow the instructions above, with the following changes:

Because all the words in this game contain long vowel sounds, warm up by reviewing the names of these “smart” letters and singing the first part of the Bingo vowel song.

Play the game together, placing the letters on bottom row of the pocket chart, swapping different vowels and consonants to create new words. When the children have a grasp of the concept, ask for individual responses. Call on children randomly to perform each step of this activity. Have the group read each formed word in unison.

Reinforcement: Place the work mat in a center. Let the children practice swapping vowels and consonants to make new words. Be sure to check their work. Make a list of the words they create.

Use this Reinforcement at Home form to tell parents and guardians how they can reinforce lessons outside the classroom.

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