Phonics – How to say the different phonemes

Sunday 16 October 2011

It is very important when children are beginning to read and spell that the phonemes (sounds) are said correctly.

This is a list of the phonemes in the order that they are taught.

(Don’t forget to avoid saying an ‘uh’ sound after some letter sounds – this might be how you remember the sounds, but it’s not helpful to spell a word like ‘dog’ with each letter pronounced ‘duh-o-guh’ – instead, try to just say the very initial, pure sound: ‘d-o-g’.)

  1. s Weave your hand in an s shape, like a snake, and say ssssss
  2. a Wiggle fingers above elbow as if ants are crawling on you and say a, a, a
  3. t Turn your head from side to side as if watching tennis and say t, t, t
  4. i Pretend to be a mouse by wriggling your fingers at the end of your nose and squeak i, i, i
  5. p Pretend to puff out candles on a cake and say p, p, p
  6. n Make a noise as if you are a plane.  Hold your arms out and say nnnnnn
  7. e Pretend to tap an egg on the side of a pan and crack it into the pan, saying eh, eh, eh
  8. h Hold your hand in front of your mouth and pant as if you are out of breath and say h, h, h
  9. r Pretend to be a puppy holding a piece of rag. Shake your head from side to side and say rrrrrr
  10. m Rub your tummy as if seeing tasty food and say mmmmmm
  11. d Beat your hands up and down as if playing a drum and say d, d, d
  12. g Spiral your hand down as if water is going down the drain and say g, g, g
  13. o Pretend to turn a light switch on and off and say o, o, o
  14. c k Raise your hands and snap your fingers as if playing castanets and say ck, ck, ck
  15. u Pretend you are putting up an umbrella and say u, u, u
  16. l Pretend to lick a lollipop and say lllllll
  17. f Let hands gently come together as if toy fish deflating, and say fffff
  18. b Pretend to hit a ball with a bat and say b, b, b
  19. j Pretend to wobble on a plate and say j, j, j
  20. w Blow on to your open hand as if you are the wind and say wh, wh, wh
  21. v Pretend to be holding the steering wheel of a van and say vvvvvv
  22. z Put your arms out at your sides and pretend to be a bee saying zzzzzz
  23. y Pretend to be eating a yogurt and say y, y, y
  24. x Pretend to take an x-ray of someone  and say ks, ks, ks
  25. ch Move arms at sides as if you are a train and say ch, ch, ch
  26. sh Place index finger over lips and say sh, sh, sh
  27. th th Pretend to be naughty clowns and stick out tongue a little for the th and further for the th sound (this and thumb)
  28. qu Make a duck’s beak with your hands and say qu, qu, qu
  29. ng Imagine you are a weightlifter and pretend to lift a heavy weight above your head saying ng…
  30. ai Cup hand over ear and say ai, ai, ai
  31. ee or Put your hands on your head as if ears on a donkey and say eeyore, eeyore
  32. oa Bring your hand over your mouth as if you have done something wrong and say oh!
  33. ie Stand to attention and salute, saying  ie ie
  34. oo oo Move head back and forth as if it is the cuckoo in a cuckoo clock saying u, oo,u, oo (little and long oo.)
  35. ou Pretend your finger is a needle and prick thumb saying ou, ou, ou
  36. oi Cup hands around mouth and shout to another boat saying oi, oi ship ahoy!
  37. ue Point to people around you and say you, you, you
  38. er Roll hands over each other like a mixer and say er,er,er
  39. ar Open mouth wide and say ah. Flap hands as if a seal and say ar, ar, ar