1. Remind students that sounds are put together to make words. Tell students sometimes vowels can work together to make one sound.
2. Show students the learning tool Basic 4 box Elkonin Boxes and explain that you will use a counter to stand for each sound in the word. Use pennies, chips, or other small counters during the segmentation activity.
3. Place four counters just above the line on the page. Model by saying a word with a long vowel team, such as paid. Push a counter into a box on the Basic 4 box Elkonin Boxes tool for each sound as you segment: /p/, /ā/, /d/.
4. Place your index finger on the dot under the boxes and slide your finger across the page in the direction of the arrow as you blend the word: paid.
5. Ask students how many sounds are in the word (3). Point out that you pushed up three counters, one for each sound in the word. There are three sounds in the word paid: /p/, /ā/, /d/.
6. Touch the middle counter and say: What sound is here? /ā/. The vowel sound we hear in this word is the long a. /ā/.
7. Provide each student in the group with a copy of the Basic 4 box Elkonin Boxes tool. Then give each student four counters and have them place the counters just above the line on the page.
8. Provide students with guided practice using the words below as their first segment and blend the word and then isolate and identify the medial vowel. Follow the same model as outlined above, this time with the students producing the sounds, pushing the counters, and sliding their finger to blend along with you. After blending, have students touch the middle counter to isolate and produce the vowel sound in the word.
- tied (3 phonemes, medial vowel /ī/)
- rain (3 phonemes, medial vowel /ā/)
- seed (3 phonemes, medial vowel /ē/)
- boat (3 phonemes, medial vowel /ō/)
9. To culminate, give students one of the following words and observe their performance. Students should first segment and blend the word independently, then isolate and produce the medial vowel sound:
- feet (3 phonemes, medial vowel /ē/)
- light (3 phonemes, medial vowel /ī/)
- sail (3 phonemes, medial vowel /ā/)
- loan (3 phonemes, medial vowel /ō/)
Use additional words as necessary to continue the independent practice.