The combination of letters into new sounds greatly confused my two new readers. The first ones we encountered were “aw,” “ew,” and “ow.” Kids had a tough time remembering what they were supposed to say, so I created a couple of hand motions to help them remember. You will see in the video that they over-exaggerate the sound when doing the movement. This was ok for my two, and never impacted their ability to pull the sounds together into a word. If it becomes a problem for yours, then have them pull back a bit so that “ew” would be pronounced like “yew” instead of the way my kids do in the video, which is “eeeeeew.” Basic motions:
AW – hold hand to face, tip head, and look cute
EW – hold nose and pucker face
OW – slap thigh and look pained
When my kids read and mispronounce a word because of one of these, or get stumped on what to say, I only have to look at them and silently make the motion. It jogs their memory without me saying a thing. My son will still hold his nose occasionally as he reads along and encounters a word with “ew.” As I said, he doesn’t over-pronounce the sound, but the motion clearly helps jog his memory. I kept the motions to only a few sounds, so that they wouldn’t be dancing around the room as they read (although what a fun image!) and they would only rely on them for the more bizarre sounds. What motions do you rely on? Are my three motions helpful to your kids?
Happy reading (and watching)!