Concept: ng/nk Endings
Many of my students struggle to hear the difference between words that contain -ng or -nk endings (such as sung, pink, strong) and words that sound very close but do not have -ng or -nk ending (such as glen, trend, bench). Hoop War is a fun activity you can use as a quick intensive or as a longer multisensory activity to help your students hear the difference between these sounds.
A recent discovery of mine, and a now indispensable item in my teacher toolbox, are hoops made out of ribbon. For each small group of students, I keep 2-3 ribbon hoops in a Ziploc baggie. They are a breeze to pull out and put away and provide a framework for many different kinds of small group activities.
For this game you need two ribbon hoops per small group, a large NOT card to put in one of the hoops and then 8 smaller ending cards with ink, unk, ank, onk and ing, ung, ang, ong written on them to put in the other hoop. I find it helpful to organize the endings inside the hoop, putting all the -nk endings together on one side and all of the -ng endings on the other side. This helps the students quickly scan the endings as they listen to the words. You will need to prepare a list of words ahead of time for the teacher/small group leader to read aloud (see picture below for examples of words that work well for this activity). Each small group also needs something to toss or drop, such as a bouncy ball, paper clips, bean bags, etc.
To play, the teacher or small group leader reads aloud a word from the prepared list. The student with the ball listens to the word, tries to identify if the word contains an -ng or -nk ending, and then drops the ball (or other item) into the correct hoop.
Student (drops the ball into the NOT hoop).
Student (drops the ball into the -ng/-nk hoop).
This activity should be completed after students have had lots of practice with -ng and -nk words. For a few of my students this activity was initially too challenging. A modification that was helpful was to include only the –ng words until mastered, then practice with –nk words, and finally move to practicing with both –ng and –nk words. Another modification is to give the student two similar words, telling them that one belongs in the NOT hoop and the other belongs in the –ng/-nk hoop. They just have to decide which one goes where. For example, pick/pink, stren (pseudoword)/string, truck/trunk. These modifications provide a little extra support to help your students be successful. Happy hooping!
Audrey Bon, A.B.Ed.
Audrey is a tutor at Brainspring Learning Center in Plymouth.