The letters in ’ure’ work together to make one sound. It is called a trigraph because it contains three letters. I find that children often struggle to remember this sound, perhaps because it is in words that they don’t see or use very often.
Example words: sure, lure, assure, insure, pure, cure, secure, manure, mature.
Introducing the sound
I introduced the sound ‘ure’ and modelled how to sound out ‘pure’ (p-ure). I told Sophie the pirates were looking for pure gold, which is the best gold because it hasn’t been mixed with anything else. I asked her to help me to make a treasure map of our house. I drew one showing the table, chair and the tv. She wanted to pretend the chair was a tree and the sofa was a boat.
I asked Sophie to label the different objects on her map and encouraged her to sound out the words to help spell (segment). Lots of objects around the house can be spelt phonetically (they can be sounded out). Encourage your child to write the sounds they can hear. They may not be spelt correctly but can be sounded out to make the word.
e.g. taibl for table (t-ai-b-l)
soafa for sofa (s-oa-f-a)
If words have 2 syllables encourage them to clap the syllables and then to sound out each syllable.
e.g. window - wind/ow (w-i-n-d/oa)
I cut some coins out of card and wrote words containing the ‘ure’ sound. I hid these around the room while she wasn’t looking and put an x on her map to show her where to look. I also hid a treasure chest with a ‘pure gold’ chocolate bar inside. Please note the ure in treasure doesn’t make the same sound.
When she found a coin I asked her to sound out the word and blend the sound to read it. She needed to spot the ‘ure’ trigraph and remember not to sound out the three letters separately.
She really enjoyed this activity especially because she got to eat the chocolate bar at the end.
This activity could also be done with any of the phonemes (sounds) or with the high frequency words.
If you have a go at this activity and share any photos on social media tag @miniwritersclub and I will share them on my IG.