Phonetic Sounds Reference Sheet
This sheet contains examples of simple words that can
be used in presentations of
phonetic sounds. Present the initial letters as they
sound in the words shown: for
example, a as in apple, b as in bat,
and so on...
||*for q, make the sound kw.
||**for x, make the sound
Source: Language Arts for
Preschoolers, by Dale Gausman, North American Progressive
Montessori Teacher Training Program, 1998. Used with
Language Activities: Introduction
General Points to Remember about Presenting Language
Summary of Language Activities for
- Make sure to present similar phonetic sounds
with an interval of several days in
between each. For example, if you present words
starting with the d sound one
day, do not present words starting with the
b sound the next, because they sound
so alike. That is, let the child practice and
learn to identify the d sound before
you introduce b.
- Take advantage of sounds the child makes naturally
at her/his level of development. For example,
from three to six months old, most children
can make vowel sounds (a,e,i,o,u). From six
to ten months, most children add more vowel
sounds and begin to repeat sounds (for example,
ba-ba), especially if encouraged
to repeat the sounds. At six to ten months,
most children also makes their first consonant
sounds. Around the world, these are m, p, b,
t, and d. For this reason, words starting with
m, p, b, t, or d are especially good for first
presentations of phonetic sounds.
- To help the child focus, speak slowly, clearly
- Remember that language is not only talking.
Touch, facial expressions and singing
are also important ways of communicating with
The following language activities give the two opportunities
- develop and expand vocabulary
- name parts of the human body
- recognize and practice phonetic sounds
- become familiar with the words for numbers
and what they represent
- organize information
- identify and name objects
- develop pre-reading skills
- practice listening skills
- use creativity and imagination.
Language Activity 4: Naming Objects
Starting with the Same Phonetic Sound
Practicing specific phonetic sounds.
Developing concentration and fine motor skills.
Drawstring bag containing five real or real-looking miniature
objects, each starting with the same phonetic sound and
described by words of two or more syllables. Choose objects
that are as true to life as possible. Since you are presenting
sounds in this activity, make sure that the objects you
present are not all the same color or even similar colors.
Ideas for objects: insects, fruit, vegetables, farm animals,
jungle animals, clothing, household items, musical instruments,
vehicles, plants and flowers. For example, five objects
starting with the b sound (pronounced buh,
not bee) could include the following: button,
basket, balloon, bubbles, bear.
- This activity appeals particularly to
the interests and abilities of twos
2730 months old.
- In advance, put the objects into the
- Ask the child to get the work mat and
put it in a place you specify.
- With the child, get the prepared bag
and place it on the work mat.
- Sit facing the child with the bag between
- Announce the focus of the activity. For example,
say: All the objects in this bag
start with the same sound: b. Lets see
whats inside. Speak slowly and clearly.
- Take the first object out of the bag, then
return the bag to the work mat. Hold the
object in your hand and name it. For example,
say: This is a ...button. The word
button begins with the sound b. B-utton.
Make sure to pronounce the beginning
letter as it sounds, not as it would be readfor
example, buh, not bee.
- Invite the child to say the word. For example,
say: Now you say button.
- Wait in silence for the child to say the word.
- If the child says the word or tries to say
the wordfor example: utton
smile and repeat: Yes, button. It
is important not to correct the child by saying,
example: No or Thats
not quite right.
- If the child keeps trying and seems to be
enjoying the activity, continue focusing on
the word. If the child shows frustration or
resistance, move on to the next object.
- If the child reaches for the object without
speaking, let her/him hold and examine it. Once
the child has examined the object, repeat the
name of the object. For example, say: The
word button begins with the sound b. B-utton.
Now you say it.
- Once the child has named or attempted to name
the first object, take the second
object out of the bag. Again hold the object
in your hand and speak slowly and
clearly as you name it, then invite the child
to name it. For example, say: Here is
another object that starts with the sound b.
This is a ...basket. B-asket. Now you
- Repeat until you and the child have named
all the objects and placed them on the
work mat. Move the bag aside.
- Invite the child to name objects you specify.
Hold each object up, one at a time. Do
not follow the same order you used the first
time. As the child names or attempts to
name the object, repeat the word. For example,
say: Yes, balloon begins with the
sound b. Balloon.
- After the child has named all the objects,
return them to the bag and invite the child
to continue. For example, say: Now you
look at the b objects.
- Once the child starts focusing on the objects
in the bag, get up quietly and allow the
child to work undisturbed.
- When the child has finished the activity,
encourage the child to return all the objects
to the bag, then return the work mat and bag
to their proper places. If necessary, do
these tasks with the child. This completes the
- Make sure that the materials presented stay
availableon a low shelf, for example
for the child to work with again when
- As the child acquires experience and
skill with the objects representing one
phonetic sound, introduce new objects
starting with that sound. However, make
sure that you do not change the objects
so often and so quickly that the child
not have time to repeat the activity and
internalize the lesson.
- As the childs experience
and language skill develops, gradually
increase the number of objects.
Example: button; basket; balloon;
bubbles; bear; butterfly;