Riddle Me This: Activity for Sound Spelling Cards

a guest post on using the Sound Spelling Cards by Ann Miani

Dear Teachers,
I wanted to share a life changing teaching strategy for OCR phonics.  You can print out the Sound Spelling Card mats (see links):

Link #1

Link #2

There are some cool new versions of the large long vowel cards to print out, but they would have to be run on long sheets of paper 14 inches or so.

Green Box cards are named (all short vowel sounds)
lamb, hen, pig, fox, and tugboat.

The blue box cards are diphthongs/diagraphs titled in order
armadillo, whale, (bird card er,ir,ur,) cow card, hawk card, hoot owl card (this may be the goo card in another version,) foot card, and toy/coil card depending on which version you have.

Here is an example of how to give spelling quizzes using this SSC mat
For the technique Riddle Me This, I say these out loud while the kids write the letters that go with the cards.
1.Dinosaur card(kids would write the letter d)
2.Long I
3.Nose card (n sound)
4.Long O card (they are taught to assume it is the first spelling unless otherwise indicated)
5.Sausages (s sound)
6 Hawk Card (second spelling = au)
7.Robot card r sound (when I don’t specify which spelling on the card again the kids assume it is the first spelling on that card)

I repeat each of the letter cards in the word, while they touch each letter sound on their papers to check to see that they haven’t left any out.  Then I ask them what did I spell?  They all call out with glee and a feeling of success that they hadn’t felt until I used this technique dinosaur!

Use this with your word knowledge boards if you wish.  I give the kids 12 – 20 words per day that come from their weekly reading passages in the text and they seem to really get very large words now.  What a relief to see them spelling, reading and now writing with far more enthusiasm and success!

Before using this concept, the kids struggled with 3 to 5 letter words with both long and short vowel sounds.  Now they are spelling, reading, and writing 10-12 letter words without help.  This happened in just a month and a half.

They wrote essays this week and nobody balked about having to explain why they felt the dinosaurs died out.  They were able to justify their reasons behind their theories based in the NF story they read this week.  Only 3 out of 20 kids (who were ELD) struggled with the actual theories behind the extinction of dinosaurs.  This is a far cry from January!

I hope this helps you as much as it helped my class. Up till the time I started using this, my class was the lowest on record and the majority of them were failing.

-Ann Miani

5 thoughts on “Riddle Me This: Activity for Sound Spelling Cards”

  1. I tried dictation your way yesterday and I believe it is already helping some of my struggling students. I can’t wait to see what happens in a week or two. I’m looking forward to more of your ideas!

    1. You’re right. The link is no longer working. It’s an external link that has been taken offline by its owner. This is a three year old post.

  2. Is there a way to download the cards from an other source? I need them in A4 format for a display so it would be very helpfull if someone can help. Thanks

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