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Phonics Cootie Catchers

Cootie catchers (or chatterboxes/fortune tellers) are a fun way of combining a popular children’s game with some practice in reading and spelling words that have a particular phonics focus. | topnotchteaching.comDid you know that one of my favorite things to do is to think up fun new games that will engage my students.

And that’s just what I’ve done with my newest teaching item.

I’ve taken the classic children’s game: cootie catchers (also called chatterboxes and fortune tellers) and combined them with some practice in reading and spelling words that have a particular phonics focus. My kids have been enjoying using them as a way for us to review words and sounds that we’ve been working on in the past.

The pack I’ve made includes 8 sets of words that focuses on 8 different sounds.

Set 1: Sound /ae/, Spellings: ay, ea, a-e, ai, a, eigh, ei
Set 2: Sound /ee/, Spellings: e, ea, y, ee, ey, ie
Set 3: Sound /oe/, Spellings: o, oa, ow, o-e, oe
Set 4: Sound /er/, Spellings: er, ir, or, ur, ear
Set 5: Sound /e/, Spellings: e, ea
Set 6: Sound /ow/, Spellings: ou, ow
Set 7: Sound /oo/, Spellings: oo, ew, ue, u-e, ui
Set 8: Sound /ie/, Spellings: i, ie, y, i-e, igh

Cootie catchers (or chatterboxes/fortune tellers) are a fun way of combining a popular children’s game with some practice in reading and spelling words that have a particular phonics focus. | topnotchteaching.comHow to use

There are a number of ways that you could use the cootie catchers, but below describes how I’ve been using them with my students.

  1. Have students work with a partner. One student (student 1) operates the chatterbox.
  2. The other student (student 2) picks one of the pictures.
  3. Student 1 opens and closes the chatterbox while saying the sounds. For example, if the picture is of a tooth, the student would say: /t/ /oo/ /th/, so that student would open/close the chatterbox 3 times.
  4. Student 2 picks one of the words.
  5. Again Student 1 opens/closes the chatterbox for the number of sounds in the word.
  6. Student 2 picks another word.
  7. This time Student 1 opens the flap to reveal a spelling for the sound focus. For example, the spelling could be ‘oo’.
  8. Student 2 then needs to write a word that includes this spelling of the sound. The student can use some of the words from the chatterbox, or think of their own. For example, the student could write: ‘hoop’.
  9. Students alternate taking turns operating the chatterboxes.

Check out the pictures below to see them in action.

Cootie catchers (or chatterboxes/fortune tellers) are a fun way of combining a popular children’s game with some practice in reading and spelling words that have a particular phonics focus. | topnotchteaching.comCootie catchers (or chatterboxes/fortune tellers) are a fun way of combining a popular children’s game with some practice in reading and spelling words that have a particular phonics focus. | topnotchteaching.com

Free cootie catchers

If you’d like to try them out with your students I’ve included a free sample for you. The sample is of Set 6, sound /ow/. Just click on the picture below to download them.

Cootie catchers (or chatterboxes/fortune tellers) are a fun way of combining a popular children’s game with some practice in reading and spelling words that have a particular phonics focus. | topnotchteaching.comGet the full set

If you like the sample, then head over to my Teachers pay Teachers store to pick up the complete set. Just click on the picture below to grab them now.

Cootie catchers (or chatterboxes/fortune tellers) are a fun way of combining a popular children’s game with some practice in reading and spelling words that have a particular phonics focus. | topnotchteaching.com

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4 Responses to Phonics Cootie Catchers

  1. I love your chatterboxes! I have used them for many things but not thought of using them for one sound different spelling. Great thinking Melinda.

    • Hey Mary,

      They’re fantastic and the students (of all ages) are responding so well to them. A fun way to start a session and that is also good to review sounds we’ve been working on.

      Mel

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