Physical Phonics

Making phonics active.

Children learn best by doing… We all know that. In my teaching/modelling of skills, I try to make my sessions as active as possible. I hate sitting still, so I can only imagine how tricky it is if you are four or five! (My mind starts to wander after about 7minutes flat!!!)

I “borrowed” this idea I think from a Twitter friend.

Basically, I used a sharpie pen to write our week’s digraph sound onto balls…

Our session started with me throwing the balls around our outdoor area and the children running around to collect a ball. They needed to show me the ball and tell me the digraph before throwing it into the tray!

Game two… Same as above but once they had told me the digraph they had to hold this in their heads, and go and write it on their whiteboard!

Game three… Two Teams- each player has to run to the end of the assault course, read the digraph, then go and root in the tray to find the matching digraph and roll it down the tubes. At the end of the game, we looked in the tray and counted up how many correct balls ea h team had! (We realised we get a little confused between ‘ie’ and ‘oi’)


I loved the fact that later in our “free explorer time” I saw my little phonics group teaching other children in the class!

A great phonics session was had by all.

This article was re-published in the July 2015 edition of UKEdMagazine. It was originally posted on Pennie’s blog at All images provided by the author.

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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