Are you in need of a fun way to teach ending sounds in your classroom? Games to the rescue! Using games to teach ending sounds and other phonics skills is my favorite way to boost engagement and make learning fun! Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite games and how to use them to teach ending sounds.
Why Should We Use Games to Teach Ending Sounds?
If you know me, you likely already know that I’m a huge fan of hands-on learning activities like games. Games are one of my favorite ways to teach important skills like beginning sounds, letter identification, and more! Why you ask?
Simply put, games make learning fun and engaging for my kiddos. In kindergarten, so much of what we learn must be repeated many times for concepts to be mastered. Using games ensures that we can practice as many times as we need without my students losing interest or getting bored. While worksheets can get boring really quickly, you can always count on games to keep student attention. When it comes to teaching ending sounds, you can’t go wrong with games. Phonemic awareness skills like ending sounds require lots of repetition and exposure, making games the perfect, fun way to practice.
How To Use Phonics Games
The phonics games we use to teach ending sounds can be used in a variety of ways. We use games during small groups, whole-group instruction, and center time to mix things up. If you’re brand new to using games with your kiddos, here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Start in small groups: The key to having success with games in the classroom is to ensure your kiddos know how to play. Take some time to teach your kiddos each new game during small group lessons before sending them off to play in centers.
- Make circle time more engaging with games: If your morning meeting or circle time lessons have been feeling a little stale, games are the PERFECT way to perk things up. I love using games that we can use as a group during this time to practice phonics skills while also fostering some classroom community.
- Practice, practice, practice during centers: The magic happens with practice! The best part about using games to teach ending sounds is that your kiddos won’t get bored with extended practice. Use this to your advantage and make sure to play games over and over during center time.
Overall, adding games to your learning routines can be a total game-changer. I love seeing my students perk up when I mention playing a new game during circle time or in our small groups. Games make teaching final sounds fun and easy, which is a total win in my book! Here are a few of our favorites for learning ending sounds.
Ending Sounds Pocket Chart Game
First up, let’s chat about one of my favorite games for whole-group instruction.
This pocket chart game is a great way to get students excited about practicing ending sounds.
To play, you’ll set up phonics picture cards in a pocket chart. Then, you’ll hide a bee card behind one of the phonics cards. Next, call on students to guess which card they think the bee is hiding behind.
As students guess, they will say the name of the phonics card and the ending sound for that word. Students will keep guessing until the bee is found.
Then, hide the bee again and repeat the process. This game is perfect for a morning warm-up during circle time or anytime you find yourself with just a few minutes to spare before your next activity.
Fluency strips are a great way to practice during small groups.
To use, print and laminate your strips and then attach a few together with a binder ring. Students will point to each picture on their strip and say the picture name and ending sound one by one.
I love using these throughout our time working on ending sounds to assess how my students are progressing with this skill.
It’s a really quick and easy way to see how much your students have learned and how comfortable they are with recalling ending sounds quickly.
Aside from small groups, these also make a great center activity or independent practice game as well!
Match and Cover Ending Sounds
Match and cover is such a fun game that’s great for small groups and center time.
To play, each student will get a game board as well as cards that go with it. The cards come in two options, one with letters and one with pictures.
I like to start with pictures and move on to letters after we’ve played a few times.
To play, kiddos will point to a picture on their game board and call out the ending sound.
Then, they hunt for a card with a picture that uses the same ending sound or the letter that makes that sound depending on the option you’re working with.
This game offers so much practice with ending sounds and students love trying to fill their cards up.
Build an Ice Cream
This game is the perfect small group activity that focuses on learning ending sounds in a fun way. To play, the teacher will place 10-20 pictures on the table and give each child a bowl or ice cream cone. The teacher then asks each student to begin building their ice cream with a specific ending sound for one of the pictures in the pile.
For example, you might say, “Can you build something that ends with /m/?” When the student finds the correct picture, they place it in their bowl or cone and then the next student in the group will go. The teacher will continue asking students to build their ice cream until all the cards are gone.
I love this game since it allows children to search among a group of cards for the sound they are looking for. It helps students slow down, evaluate their choices, and search for the correct ending sound. Not to mention, the kiddos think this is just so much fun!
Road Races Ending Sounds Game
This final sounds game is always a student favorite and can be used during small groups and center time.
To play, each student gets a small, toy car cutout and a road game strip.
Students will “drive” their car along the road strip and stop at each picture.
As they pass each picture, students will say the name and the ending sound.
Each road strip has 7 pictures on it, so students will get plenty of opportunities to practice ending sounds with each one.
I like to keep the road strips in a basket and let kiddos choose a new one each time they finish theirs.
Even More Games for Ending Sounds
Using games to teach ending sounds means you can count on high student engagement in your lessons. Once you give games a try for this phonics skill, I know you’ll be hooked too! These are just a few of the games we used to teach ending sounds. If you’re looking for even more, be sure to check out my Phonics Games for Ending Sounds Resource. Included you’ll find all of the games mentioned, plus 11 more your students will LOVE like:
- Ending Sounds BINGO
- Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down
- Roll & Read
- Match it Up
- Fluency Board Games
- Feed Me
- Let’s Go Shopping
- Roll & Write
- Skill Cards
- Trash It
These games are a great way to ensure your students get plenty of engaging, hands-on practice with ending sounds in your classroom.
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