Do you think about sentences most when you are teaching writing? Sentences are also fantastic for practicing phonics. Many phonics activities focus on particular sounds, letters, or words, which is a great way to introduce and practice a concept. Working with sentences provides variety to practice and helps students read and use learned words in context.
If you’re looking for phonics practice with sentences, try these three activities.
3 Phonics practice ideas with sentences
When you use sentences for phonics practice, you can level your activities to meet students needs. For starters, you can adjust how challenging the words are or how simple or complex the sentences are.
You can also choose an activity that requires more or less writing or sentence creation. Sentence phonics practice can range from putting together sentences with given words to writing a sentence they hear to creating their own sentences. Let’s take a look at all three.
Phonics practice jumbled sentences
Create a series of sentences that use your target words. For example, if you were focusing on digraphs including ‘ck’ and ‘qu’, you might use the words duck, quack, quilt and sock to make sentences like:
The duck quacks.
The quilt is on the bed.
You need two socks.
Once you have your sentences, mix up the words. You could print them all in alphabetical order or simply jumble them around. Leave enough space around each word for students to cut the words out.
Have students cut out the words for each sentence. Then have them put the words together in a sentence that makes sense. They should glue the words in the right order on another sheet of paper. For additional practice, have students add a capital letter and end mark to each sentence.
Jumbled sentences can be used in phonics/literacy stations or sent home for phonics homework.
Phonics practice dictation sentences
Jumbled sentences have students use words that they are seeing. Dictation sentences focus on what students hear.
As with jumbled sentences, you will want a sentence for each target word. Use sentences that match students reading/writing level both with the complexity of the words and the sentences.
Read each sentence and have students write down the sentence. You may need to repeat the sentence to help students get it all down.
Note which words students do not get. This can indicate words that students have not learned effectively or particular sounds that students struggle spelling.
You can use dictation sentences as a whole class activity, in small groups or one on one.
Phonics practice sentence writing
Finally, have students practice writing their own sentences using their phonics words. This is a good activity to use near the end of a unit on a particular sound or set of words. You can have students write sentences for every word or choose a certain number from the whole list.
If students aren’t quite ready for sentence writing, use fill in the blank sentences. Students add the correct phonics word to complete the sentence.
One of the things I love about all of these sentence practice ideas is that they can be used for any type of phonics practice, whether you are working on CVC words, a particular digraph, multiple spellings for different sounds, or any other phonics topic.
Are digraphs your focus right now? I’ve got you covered with the Ultimate Digraph Teaching Kit. I’ve included dictation sentences for 10 different digraphs. The kit also includes jumbled sentences and fill in the blank sentences among its mix of activities … but it doesn’t stop there. For each unit, you get:
- Master word list;
- Digraph tracking sheet;
- Word lists;
- Dictation sentences;
- Word wall cards;
- Bingo game: simple and advanced; and
- Phonics playing games
The activities are varied to keep it interesting for your students and to give you options. And it’s all ready for you to print and go.
Get a preview of the Ultimate Digraph Teaching Kit and order your copy here!
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