1. Overview

Take away the beginning sound of a word to reveal the “hidden” word that remains, without any visual clues.

Your child will practice separating a single sound from a word and will also learn that changing a sound in a word can change its meaning.

say the hidden word
The hidden word in ffface is … ace!

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2. Materials

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3. Activity

Video: How to play Say the Hidden Word

Before starting the game, explain to the child that with some words, you can take away one sound and find a totally different word “hidden” inside.

To start the game, you will say a word from the provided list and have the child repeat it, emphasizing and stretching out the beginning sound. Then have her tell you the “hidden” word that appears when you take away the first sound. There are no picture clues in this version of the game, so she will have to work harder to remember the word and discover the “hidden” word within.

Adult: I’m going to tell you a word and ask you to take away a sound
            and tell me the “hidden” word that’s left.
            Here’s the word. Listen: game. G-g-game. Say g-g-game.

Child: G-g-game.
Adult: Again. Listen: g-g-game. Say that.
Child: G-g-game.
Adult: Now, tell me the hidden word inside g-g-game.
[If the child struggles, repeat g-g-game with a pause (1/2 – 1 second) in the middle: g • ame.]
Child: Aim!
Adult: Yes, aim.
            What sound did you cut off of game to find aim?

Child: /g/
Adult: Good job.
            Here’s another one. Listen: mmmice. Say mmmice

Don’t tell her to cut off the first sound specifically. She needs to discover for herself, through the game, which sound to eliminate.

Go through 20-40 words in a session. Give the child a mix of words, at least one for each of the 20 starting sounds. Revisit this activity until you have gone through all the words and the child can “chop off” all the different beginning sounds.

NOTE: Many children can “find the hidden word” easily but have trouble saying which sound was taken away from the original word.

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4. Confidence Builder

Give the child a smaller mix of words, with no more than ten different starting sounds. The majority of these starting sounds should be continuant sounds such as /mmm/, /fff/, and /sss/.

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5. Small Groups (2-5 children)

Lesson Objective: Without any pictures as visual aids, children will hear a spoken word, delete its beginning phoneme, and name the word that is left.

GELDS (Georgia Early Learning & Development Standards): CLL6.4c

Georgia Standards of Excellence: ELAGSEKRF2.d

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

Additional Materials:

  • optional: toy microphone, wooden block, or rhythm stick

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

Play the game together as a group, reminding the children that they need to listen very carefully. Provide many opportunities for practice.

Pass a “microphone” to each child and give a new word from the word list. Repeat the activity, passing the “microphone” around until everyone has had a turn.

Reinforcement: Play the game as a transition strategy. When a child correctly says the hidden word and the sound that was taken away, she may line up, wash her hands, choose a center, etc. Be sure to give everyone a turn.

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

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