Shel Silverstein & Initial Consonant Blend Goodies!

I’ve pretty much claimed our poor library’s copy of A Light In the Attic as my own. My students LOVE Shel Silverstein’s poems. They think he is just NUTS, and they love them some CrAzY!! SOO naturally, I sneakily use this to my advantage and we use his poems to practice some phonics!

Today, we studied initial consonant blends {specifically – sl, sk, sc, sw, sp, sn, st}. I started off with a quick recap that blends:

-are two or three consonant sounds that are clustered together
-each consonant keeps it’s own sounds
-can be found at the beginning or end of words

First, I showed my students the following blends written on cardstock paper.

I had them practice making each blend and we talked about the different things your mouth does when you make each sound.

We then read some poems from the book, A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein. While we read the poems, the students located and circle all the words that they saw had the inital consonant blends that we were studying. Poems are PERFECT because they are short, sweet, and hold my kiddos attention. {a daunting task!}

The two poems we used today were “The Sword-Swallower” and “Skin Stealer.”

We spent a few minutes brainstorming some other words that start with one of those “s” blends. I showed them my pre-done paper of the “st” initial consonant blend and we added a little more to it together.

Then, I passed out a different blend poster to each student {this was done in a small group, so each student has his/her own blend, but could be done in partners or groups of students!}. I explained for them to use the dry/erase boards to brainstorm words (sounding them out for spelling) and then they could write them on their “poster.” I got this idea from the fabulous Abby from The Inspired Apple.

I only gave them a few minutes to complete these, but they turned out awesome!!
They showed great teamwork during the activity– helping each other think of new words!

Afterwards, we went over the words they came up with for each blend.

And we made a little acrostic on the consonant blends we learned.

To practice blends a little more, we played some GAMES!

We played “Minute to Win It” as they raced the clock to sort all the words by their inital blend.

&& SPEND THE STASH – a personal favorite of my students {& meee!}

Lastly, we played “SMASH.” In this game, we just put all the cards face up on the table. The students all stand around the table ready to pounce, waiting for me to call out a word. The first person to find the word has to “smash” the card on the table to keep it. The person with the most card wins!

For these games, I just pulled the blends we were working on out of my “Phonics Games for Initial & Final Consonant Blends” Packet On TPT.

Tomorrow, I plan to review those “s” initial consonant blends a little more with more poems, specifically:
“Stop Thief!”
“Mr. Smeds and Mr. Spats”
“Snake Problem”
& “Come Skating!”

My students will be over the mooooon HAPPY!

Enjoy your Tuesday! πŸ™‚


  1. Heather on January 30, 2013 at 1:02 am

    WOW- I love those books, too, and have all of them in my classroom library. Thanks for the great ideas. I will definitely be doing some of these suggestions with my kids.

    • Mrs. Dixon on January 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Your welcome, Heather! Glad you stopped by! πŸ™‚

  2. Kim @ Mrs. Hs Resource Room on January 30, 2013 at 2:11 am

    These are fantastic ideas for more practice on those beginning blends. They can be so hard for my resource students. This gave me a fresh look at all of those Shel Silverstein books! Thanks!

    Mrs. H's Resource Room

    • Mrs. Dixon on January 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      Kim – my students go CRAZY over Shel Silverstein! I had to go get his other books because I ran out of poems to use and they keep asking for more. I'm lovin it! Glad you found this post useful! πŸ™‚

  3. Deidre' on January 30, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    This is awesome! Loving all of these new ideas.
    I'm a new follower and a brand new special education teacher!

    • Mrs. Dixon on January 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks girl! I love meeting new sped teachers! Glad you found me! πŸ™‚

  4. Sasha Marie on January 31, 2013 at 2:48 am

    We LOVE Shel Silverstein too! My guys go crazy over him πŸ™‚

    – Sasha
    The Autism Helper

  5. RAL Benson on May 11, 2013 at 6:48 am

    This is great for my DD a "Special Thinker" (love that.) I think this would really work for her.

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