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  • Phoneme Identification Skill Explainer

Categorizing Phonemes with Stephanie Fincher

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Produced by Reading Universe, a partnership of WETA, Barksdale Reading Institute, and First Book
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Stephanie Fincher: Okay. I have a challenge for you. Are you ready for a challenge? 

Students: Yes.

Stephanie Fincher: Okay. Here's the challenge. I'm going to say three words, and I want you to tell me which one doesn't belong. So think … it might be the first sound that you're listening for. It might be the middle or it might be the end. We want the one that doesn't belong to where Mrs. Fincher's pointing. Are you ready? Repeat the words after me. My words are cat, cup, fig.

Students: Cat, cup, fig. Fig!

Stephanie Fincher: Good job. Okay. My words are pick, down, dash.

Students: Pick, down, dash. Pick!

Stephanie Fincher: Good. Down and dash have the /d/, but pick doesn't belong. Okay. Now we're going to be listening for the middle sound. This is challenging, but you can do it. 

Students: Yes.

Stephanie Fincher: My words are bath, dig, math.

Students: Bath. Dig, math.

Stephanie Fincher: Which one doesn't belong?

Students: Dig.

Stephanie Fincher: Good job. Okay, let's try another one. We're still looking for middle sound. Listening. My words are west, best, rug.

Students: Rug!

Stephanie Fincher: Ooh, you're quick. Try, everybody say the, repeat the words after me. West, best, rug.

Students: Rug! Rug!

Stephanie Fincher: Good job. That has the /u/ sound, not the /ĕ/. Good. Okay. Now we're going to listen for the last sound. Tell me which word doesn't belong. Are you ready? My words are mad, kiss, sad.

Students: Mad, kiss, kiss. Sad, sad. Kiss, kiss!

Stephanie Fincher: Yeah, it has th /s/ sound. The other two have the /d/ sound. Okay. Let's try one more. Are you ready? Get those listening ears. Pay attention to the last sound. Repeat the words after me first. The words are leg, wish, mash.

Students: Leg, wish, mash.

Stephanie Fincher: What one doesn't belong?

Students: Leg. Leg

Stephanie Fincher: Leg. Because it has /g/. And the other two have?

Students: /sh/.

Stephanie Fincher: Nice job. You are becoming pros at isolating sounds, blending sounds, and segmenting 'em. And all of those skills are going to help us become great readers. Let's cheer for reading. Readers!

Students: Readers!

Narrator: For more information, please visit Special thanks to La Verne Heights Elementary School, Bonita Unified School District, and the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Reading Universe is made possible by generous support from Jim and Donna Barksdale, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and two anonymous donors. Reading Universe is a service of WETA, Washington, D.C., the Barksdale Reading Institute, and First Book.

Stephanie Fincher: This is Reading Universe.

Reading Universe is made possible by generous support from Jim & Donna Barksdale, the AFT, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and three anonymous donors.

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