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Tune In!: Phonics Phase 2

Tune In!: Pack B, Phase 2 ‘Letters and Sounds’ (EYFS focus)

The books in this pack are chosen to provide children with the rich story experience that will support their growing phonological as well as phonic awareness, including ‘tricky’ words relevant to the phase. Phase 2 is the start of the systematic teaching of synthetic phonics. Phase 1 should continue to run alongside this teaching, therefore, you will see key aspects such as alliteration and oral blending and segmenting continue.

What is Phase Two all about?

‘The purpose of this phase is to teach at least 19 letters, and move children on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters. By the end of the phase many children should be able to read some VC and CVC words and to spell them either using magnetic letters or by writing the letters on paper or on whiteboards. During the phase they will be introduced to reading two-syllable words and simple captions. They will also learn to read some high-frequency ‘tricky’ words: the, to, go, no.’

(Letters and Sounds: Notes of Guidance for Practitioners and Teachers Primary National Strategy, 2007)

The suggested order of GPC’s are:

Set 1: s a t p

Set 2: i n m d

Set 3: g o c k

Set 4: ck e u r

Set 5: h b f, ff l, ll ss

The teaching notes below provide a few ideas to get you started!

Duck in the Truck (Jez Alborough)

This great rhythmic text has lots of rhyming pairs that are great for the children to play with orally. At this stage, the children need as much practice as possible to blend and segment. Robot arms are commonplace during discrete phonics sessions so use this technique whilst applying their learning in a story as you read. (duck / truck, track / back, down / brown).

Some Dogs Do (Jez Alborough)

Once the children are familiar with this tale encourage the children to think about what it might be like to fly. Use small world toys to imagine what you might see if you were up in the clouds like Sid. Children are generally beginning to use their growing knowledge of graphemes in their writing so create a class map on large paper for the children to add labels of what they might see and where they could go. This would tie in nicely with the tricky words by using the sentence starter: ‘I can go to…’

Oi Dog / Oi Frog (Kes & Claire Gray)

These two must be read together! Ideally read ‘Oi Frog’ first. There are so many rhyming pairs that the mind boggles, let the children guess where the animal might sit once they get the hang of the story structure. If you have any toys that match the ones in the story give them out to the children (you could use pictures too) to find out where they could sit in the classroom. Encourage the children to be creative – if you don’t have a sofa for the gopher could we make one out of the chairs and the blankets? You could create on/off (phase 2 decodable) cards to show each creature where they can or can’t sit.

I Want My Hat Back (Jon Klassen)

This funny story revolves all around asking questions and listening carefully to the answers, as well as using your eyes! Is everyone telling the truth? Extend the children’s language by having a bag of different hats to explore afterwards. Let children choose a ‘?’ card to hold up in their play when they set off to find their hat (you could play this a bit like hide and seek) and encourage them to ask questions and listen carefully to the answers.

Socks (Nick Sharratt)

Without doubt you need a stock of socks when using this book! It just invites children to play with language and create words of their own. Encourage the children to bring in the most unusual sock they can find at home (pop socks and are just fascinating as you can see what’s inside). Encourage alliterative language with sock snakes, silly socks, super socks and even sausage socks.

Snug as a Bug (Tamsyn Murray & Judi Abbot)

This story is perfect for the children to learn with actions to recite as a group. Once familiar with the story an adult could use a section of the text with words missing for the children to match, e.g. ‘You’ll be snug as a …………… rolled up in a ……………’        The rhyming lines could be taken into writing too with the children identifying initial phonemes and matching to a selection of graphemes.

Huff & Puff (Claudia Rueda)

A firm favourite with a little twist on the traditional 3 little pigs. Double consonants are introduced in phase 2 so this is a great opportunity to use the ‘ff’ grapheme in context. Split the group into two and give the children cards with either ‘huff’ or ‘puff’ on (you could add sound buttons as a model too). As the adult reads the story the children join in with orally blending huff and puff at the opportune moments!

Splat the Cat (Rob Scotton)

This is a great book for exploring stereotypes, the cats discover that they don’t have to chase mice. This would lend itself well to some lovely drama activities using the Splat the Cat story as a skeleton, e.g. dogs and cats / big dinosaurs and little dinosaurs / sharks chase fish / lions chase zebras.

The children could record a before and after feeling chart with pictures and captions too to show how Splat changed from feeling worried to feeling brave and excited.

Hop on Pop (Dr. Seuss)

You can’t help tripping over rhyme after rhyme in this book, model writing the rhyming pairs on a poster that the children can decorate. Within phase 2 children start to decode short captions and simple sentences using their developing knowledge and skills. They can play games such as pairs with the captions from the text (e.g. Pup in cup / Cup on Pup / We see a bee / Ed in bed).

The Cat in the Hat (Dr Seuss)

If the children enjoyed ‘Hop on Pop’ by Dr. Seuss, this is an ideal follow up. The greater amount of text means that you may choose to share the book in smaller bite-sized chunks, especially if you are linking to the rhyme. Create towering pictures on long strips of paper with the Cat in the Hat at the bottom, the children can draw or stick objects on and add labels (book, cup, ball, fish, dish, ship, man, red fan). Alternatively build up a hat with the rime at the bottom and words on each stripe.

Pass the Jam Jim (Kaye Umansky & Margaret Chamberlain)

Sticky handprints spring to mind when reading this story! Could we create handprints out of something other than paint? Cold tea / butter / custard… There are also lots of simple CVC words in here that the children could blend and segment (mess, jam, Jim, dot, pot, hot, ham, Pam). Definitely one to act out in a home corner or with a table and a box of teatime props (maybe do the messy handprints on a different day though!).

Big Bad Bun (Jeanne Willis)

The lovely alliterative title is great for children to wrap their tongues around. This is a funny tale to get children talking about one of their favourite things… naughtiness. Ask the children to draw pictures of the naughty things (real and imaginary) that Fluff did and even make up some of their own (a good opportunity for the to add labels of their own too). In small groups they could create a scale of naughtiness from the ‘just a little naughty’ up to ‘terribly naughty’. This is a very interesting one to listen in on, especially if they can give a reason why they think it!

Dustbin Dad (Peter Bently)

The Dad in this cautionary tale is so greedy that he even eats the cat’s medicine. Get the children involved in the storytelling with props to feed into Dad’s enormous mouth (you could fashion the side of a box taped onto a bin to look like Dad’s mouth on the cover). Leave the props out after the storytelling for the children to continue to feed him. Adults can prompt thinking about what might happen to Dad if we let him eat a dog biscuit or some fish food.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Jeanne Willis)

The limited amount of text means that the storyteller can put great emphasis on just a few words. A super model for the children to copy. Lots of work could be done around ‘Don’t let the pigeon…’ (take the register / set up the snack table / be a teacher…). Consequences could also be explored through art or drama by thinking about what might happen if we did let the pigeon drive the bus, maybe he is a superb driver… but maybe he isn’t!