Created By Kim Ashley
Activity Overview
This is an early primary activity for kindergarten and first grade that can be modified for learners at any stage of phonemic awareness. Learning to hear and manipulate sounds in words is an early sign of success in reading. Using sound/word boxes gives students a visual way to organize the sounds they hear in words. This often aids in correcting reversals and developing concept of print. As students program the Bee-bot to move across the boxes, they say or listen to the corresponding sound in the box. Using the boxes without letters helps students focus on the sounds they hear, promoting phonemic awareness. Adding letters to the boxes helps with phonological awareness, (letter/sound correspondence). Bee-Bot Sound Boxes are a useful and enjoyable strategy created by Dr.Elkonin in the early 1960's that has been shown to be very helpful to students with learning disabilities.

Create a strip of 6x6 boxes with the number of sound boxes to be addressed in the words being studied. For example, using three boxes would accomodate words such as cat, hit, ran, shut, tree, cord. (Notice that digraphs and vowel combinations, including r-controlled vowel sounds use only one box.) Using four boxes helps to teach and listen to words with blends such as clap, crib, trap,
Say the word to be used. Repeat the word slowly. Ask which sound is the first box, the middle box, the last box, and so on.
Next have the student program the bee-bot to travel across the corresponding box or letter in the box as they say the sound. Students can blend the sounds together after the bee-bot stops. As students master this skill, move to more sophisticated sound manipulations, such as changing beginning or ending sounds to create new words.

Activity Objectives

Students will listen for the sounds in three and four letter words.
Students will break apart the sounds in three and four letter words.
Students will blend sounds in three and four letter words.
Students will manipulate the individual sounds in words by changing beginning, middle, or ending sounds to make new words.

Concepts Addressed
phonemic awareness: manipulation of sound, directionality alphabetic priniciple, concept of word, concept of print,

Sound boxes can be used to listen for syllables in words.
Add words with five or more sounds.
Add letters to the boxes to create Word boxes.


Web Resources

Materials needed
Strips of card stock or paper with consecutive 6x6 boxes in groups of three or four, individual letters (for word boxes),