I have been prowling internet websites and teacher blogs to inspire me with some new ideas for next term’s teaching. I found a number of worksheets surrounding the confusion between er,ir and ur and some cute Bossy R triplets at Fun In First.
I would like to share with you my own ideas for helping eliminate the confusion between these phonetic sounds. Kids generally hate them because there is no rule – it is just a matter of learning which one goes where.
When I teach them, I tell the kids that er is usually found at the end of a word, like in mother, father, teacher, burper etc. (I love throwing in the burp… it recaptures their attention.)
As teachers, we are always actors, so I relate the following two stories with lots of embellishment (Thank goodness I am usually the only adult in the room…I am known to get very loud, but hey, it works!) We then have a competition or activities on the board to decide which “ir” to use. The kids usually do well because they remember the stories. For consolidation and reinforcement, they love making up their own stories with the words too.
On Saturday, I got a very bad burn and it really hurt. I had to go to the hospital, but the nurse was very rude. She was busy fiddling in her purple purse, and told me wait for my turn as it was not urgent. I decided to curl up in my chair under the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign, but some turkey behind the curtain was making strange noises and so I moved further away. The nurse gave me a form and on it I had to fill in my surname and my suburb. The doctor had a look at my burn and told me to come back on Thursday. On the way home, I stopped in at a church with a curved roof. Under my seat there was a purple turtle. It was so quiet in the church, there was not even a murmur, until I made a very loud burp.
Thirty people entered a race at the school. (Child’s name) came first, Mrs … came third and a girl in a skirt came in thirteenth. The skirt made a whirl and a twirl. Your shirt got so dirty because a bird that was chirping pooped on it. After the race you were thirsty and asked sir (the sports teacher) for a drink, but he told you not to stir (cause trouble) because you were squirting the other kids with water. Because it was your birthday, your parents took you to the circus after the race and there you sat in a circle.
Have some more great phonics ideas? Feel free to share them here.