Saturday, March 29, 2014

Interactive Elkonin Boxes

I finally found a phonemic awareness activity that I can use with my littles who are active yet reluctant learners!

If you're not familiar with Elkonin boxes, they are a fun, concrete way for students to break apart words into sound segments (phonemes). For example, with the word "cat," students would use a three-sound Elkonin box and touch each box as they said each sound (/c/ /a/ /t/). Then, they would slide their fingers along the arrow as they blend the sounds together ("cat").

This is one of my favorite strategies, but I was having a tough time getting my antsy learners who had trouble with phoneme segmentation to attend to this activity. So, I thought, "How how how how howwwww can I make this more interactive?"

I saw my roll of tape and had an idea:

Students can hop across sounds and then slide across the arrow as they blend the sounds together. One of my littles also had an idea to do the same activity but using a bicycle, and another had the idea of driving a car across them. Then, the whole class started sharing ideas-- "What if we dance as we sing the sounds? What if we ballerina twirl across the sounds? What if we act like animals and say the sounds in animal voices?"

Now this is their favorite activity! I'm going to keep these on my floor beneath my rug so I could use it every day.

Just a word of caution--Use stage tape or painter's tape, to avoid the tape sticking permanently!

How do you help your active learners? Please share in the comments below!


  1. Hi Brandi,

    My kidlets love jumping through the Elkonin boxes, too! Although, they find it tricky to say Elkonin - so we call it sound box hopping. :)

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

  2. Hi, Lauren! I love that you've done this, too! Haha, I know- we also call them sound boxes! I had a hard time saying Elkonin in college! lol