A great phonics lesson can’t go without some sort of activities or games. I like to start my phonics lesson with a competitive review activity and end it with a fun activity or game as well. There are loads of them in my e-book. Here are a couple of great phonics games for you to incorporate in your lesson.
Great Phonics Games
Read the word standing up
Prepare a bunch of phonics words on paper. To practice the short vowels: pet, wet, man, cat, tip, trip, hill, hop, stop, cub, etc. To practice long vowels: cube, Pete, mane, lane, hike, bone, etc. Mix them up when they’ve learned all. You need an even amount of students for this. Divide them into two teams and give them numbers, set each student up with a student from the other team. You call out a number, e.g. number one, so the number one from team A and the number one from team B have to stand up. You show them the word on your paper and the student who reads it the best and quickest wins the paper for their team. Put the papers on a pile for each team and at the end count which team has won the most words.
Read the word lined up
Another way to play this is to make two teams and line them up next to each other in the middle of the classroom. This even works great if one team has more players than the other one. You show the word to the numbers one, they shout the word and then go to the back of the line. The winner wins the word for their team.
Put the children’s desks in a big circle. Give each child a phonics flashcard and have them hold it up so everyone can see it clearly. The teacher will stand in the middle, holding a plastic hammer or fly swatter, or just use your hand. One student starts and reads another student’s flashcard. The person holding that flashcard must read another student’s flashcard before you, the teacher, can hit his/her desk. If the teacher hits the student’s desk before he/she reads another person’s flashcard, then that student comes to the middle and the teacher takes his/her place. Always great fun and kids love to play the teacher.
Back to back duel
Two children stand back to back. Give them both a letter card and they hold it in front of them. When the teacher says ‘Ready? Go!’ both kids will take three steps forward and turn around to read the other ones card, shout it and make up a word.
Back to back run
Same position, but now the children have to run to a flashcard. If you have two sets of flashcards, you can give them both their own set to run to. With one set of flashcards, just spread them out around them. What I would do with little children is putting down 4 chairs and put the flashcard under the chair. Call out the letter or letter symbols and the first one to touch that letter gets the point. You can do best out of five or whatever you like.
Have a set of flashcards in the middle and two players on the outside on the same distance away. Give them both a ball. When the teacher call out a flashcard, the players run to the card, touch it with the ball, shout out the name and run back to their starting position. You can make it more challenging by making them hop instead of run. Or run 3-5 times around a chair (get dizzy) and then run to the flashcard.
Draw two or three boxes on the whiteboard for two or three players. In this box they have to put the letter you call. Three times, so the three letters will form a word. You need magnet alphabet letters for this, or just let them circle the letter on the whiteboard. You can make the letter sound or do the letter action and let them recognize which letter it is.
Write on the back
Have the students line up in two or three rows. Show the last persons in the line a letter. They have to use their finger and write the letter on the back of the person in front of them and he/she writes it on the back of the one in front of him/her, and so on. The person in front of the line writes the letter on the whiteboard. Make sure they are not speaking! Give points to the team that is correct. Then the first person moves to the back and do it again.
Classics like BINGO or memory are also great phonics games to practice phonics.