1. Remind students that sounds are put together to make words. Tell students that in today's activity they will be listening for the vowel sound in words. Remind students that vowels can make long sounds or short sounds. Use the Short and Long Vowel Flashcards or Anchor Chart with coding marks Saxon Phonics tool to review the sounds of short and long vowels. Model by pointing to each letter, producing the sound, and saying the word for the picture. Then have students touch or use a finger to trace each of the letters as they produce the short and long vowel sounds.
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 one syllable word, such as hid. Push a counter into a box on the Basic 4 box Elkonin Boxes tool for each sound as you segment: /h/, /ĭ/, /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: hid.
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 hid: /h/, /ĭ/, /d/.
6. Touch the middle counter and say: What sound is here? /ĭ/. The vowel sound we hear in this word is /ĭ/. The sound /ĭ/ is short. Tell students to use the thumb and index finger on one hand to show that this sound is short by holding up the fingers a short distance apart.
7. Repeat the activity using a word with a long vowel sound, such as hide. Tell students to open their arms wide to show that /ī/ is a long vowel sound.
8. 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.
9. Provide students with guided practice using the words below as you first segment and blend the word and then isolate and distinguish 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 hold up their fingers or their arms to show if the vowel sound is short or long.
- fun (3 phonemes, short)
- sat (3 phonemes, short)
- cake (3 phonemes, long)
- rice (3 phonemes, long)
- hope (3 phonemes, long)
- sip (3 phonemes, short)
- meet (3 phonemes, long)
- set (3 phonemes, short)
10. To culminate, give students one of the following words and observe their performance. Students should first segment and blend the word independently, then distinguish the medial vowel sound as long or short by holding up fingers or arms.
- pat (3 phonemes, short)
- same (3 phonemes, long)
- beat (3 phonemes, long)
- ripe (3 phonemes, long)
- hop (3 phonemes, short)
- lip (3 phonemes, short)
- team (3 phonemes, long)
- pet (3 phonemes, short)
- boat (3 phonemes, long)
Use additional words as necessary to continue independent practice.