This activity is primarily designed to help students practice manipulating phonemes and to review graphemes they are learning. It has the added advantage of developing fine motor skills.
- Download and print either the color or black and white echidna template onto card. If you choose the black and white version, you might like students to color the echidna.
- Either use a marker pen to write the target graphemes onto clothes pegs or print off the letters under the echidna pictures, cut up, and glue onto the pegs.
-For Level 1 students who are just learning the sounds of the alphabet, you will just need these letters. It would be useful to have some pegs with double ‘l’, ‘f’, ‘s’ and ‘z’. It would also be useful to have more than one peg with common consonants that frequently occur at the beginning and end of words (e.g., d, b, g, k, m, n, p, t).
-For Level 2 students you will need the digraphs being taught, plus the letters of the alphabet, plus double ‘l’, ‘f’, ‘s’ and ‘z’.
-For Level 3 students you will need the graphemes covered in the program, plus the letters of the alphabet, and some extra of the more commonly used letters, plus double ‘b’, ‘c’, ‘d’, ‘f’, ‘g’, ‘k’, ‘m’, ‘n’, ‘p’, ‘r’, ‘s’, ‘t’ and ‘z’.
- Choose a word containing graphemes the student has previously learned or is currently learning. You could use words from the Multisensory Reading vocabulary lists.
- Ask the student to tell you the sounds in the word.
- The student finds the pegs with the correct graphemes.
- These are then pegged onto the echidna in the correct order.
- Ask the student to say each sound pegged onto the echidna to check the word is correct.
- Swap one peg for a different grapheme to change the word. For example, the ‘o’ in ‘shop’ could be changed to ‘i’. Ask the student to tell you the new word.
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