EL Support Lesson

Reading and Writing With Our Hands

In this fun hands on lesson plan, your ELs will get to practice segmenting and blending words in a tactile way! This can be used as a stand alone lesson or as a support lesson plan for the **Sound Smoothies** lesson plan.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Sound Smoothies lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Sound Smoothies lesson plan.

Students will be able to blend letter sounds together.


Students will be able to identify and blend the individual letter sounds in grade level words using visual supports.

(5 minutes)
  • Display the tiered vocabulary words using the visual Vocabulary Cards and the Glossary for reference. Check for student understanding of each word and provide student-friendly definitions in both English and home language (L1) if needed.
  • Explain that today students will get to practice reading and writing these new words using some super special reading and writing activities!
(5 minutes)
  • Review letter sounds using a class alphabet chart either prior to the start of the lesson or as an introduction.
  • Display one of the vocabulary word cards and ask students to tell you what they see (e.g. web). Applaud their knowledge and then ask them if they want to learn a trick for being able to spell and read the word on their own.
  • Place three sticker dots on the board underneath the vocabulary word card.
  • Demonstrate touching each sticker dot as you say the sound of each letter in the word /wuh/--/eh/--/bb/, then model repeating this faster to pronounce the word 'web' smoothly.
  • Explain that you just blended the sounds in a word together. Tell the class that today they are going to listen for each letter sound in their words and then put all of the sounds together to read the word smoothly.
  • Pass out a paper with three sticker dots to each student to follow along with you as you repeat the blending activity with the same word.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell the class that practicing listening for each sound in a word is one of the ways we learn to read new words. Explain that another way to practice reading a new word is to write each letter.
  • Using the white board, window, or desk, model spraying some shaving cream down and pulling out a new vocabulary card. Look at the picture and say the word aloud. Segment the sounds in the word using the sticker dots as you say the sounds aloud. Then draw each of the letters in the shaving cream as big as you can, while saying their sound. Say the word one last time blending the sounds together.
  • Model how you can ""clear"" your word and write a second word using the same cream.
  • Go over any safety and/or classroom rules before continueing (e.g. shaving cream stays on the surface, don't eat it, etc.).
  • Explain that students will now practice segmenting, blending and writing their own words using shaving cream on their own desks (or windows if you prefer).
(15 minutes)
  • Pass out a set of vocabulary word cards to each student and have them take their sticker dots to their desk.
  • Model how to use the shaving cream or dry erase markers and go over any clean-up procedures including where clean up materials are located.
  • Provide each student with a spray of shaving cream on their desk/window space to use as they do the the activity.


  • Have students practice segmenting and blending words with a partner before working independently.
  • Provide additional words for students to practice segmenting and blending using the sticker dots as support.


  • Encourage students to practice segmenting and blending longer words.
(2 minutes)
  • As students work, take note of how they are saying the letter sounds aloud and if they are able to blend the sounds into the correct words.
  • Ask students to blend one of the words for you and provide support and/or additional instruction as needed.
  • Identify any common errors and address these to the group at the end of the session.
(3 minutes)
  • Gather the class together and applaud their work.
  • Go over any errors and/or confusion points.
  • Practice segmenting and blending one or two additional words as time allows.

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