Key words built into the shapes of the letters

A Go Fish game with picture-letters.
Keep the cards face-up on the table so the players
  can see each other's hands.
One picture-letter and one plain one make a "book."
This player just asked for "cat /k/" and took an "s"
  from the draw-pile. Now it's the other player's turn.
This player can ask for the "queen /kw/, saying first
  the key word and then the sound.
If the player doesn't remember which picture goes
  with the "w," he or she can look it up on the
  alphabet composite, which has miniature versions
  of all the picture-letters.
The Mnemonic Picture Game has picture-letters for all 26 letters, which are divided
into four separate games. Two more games include the consonant digraphs (ch, sh, wh, and th) and dr, tr, and str, which some children confuse with j, g, and ch. The first four games are especially useful in kindergarten and grade one, while games 5 and 6 should be saved for the end of grade one or the beginning of grade two. Winning is  based on luck and not skill. The pictures are simple, and the rules are uncomplicated, so tutors, parents, and home schoolers can use the games with minimal preparation.

Letters are easier to visualize than printed words, but some children have trouble memorizing the letters because their names and sounds are too abstract to be learned as easily as meaningful words. These games break the naming bottleneck because
the pictures in the picture-letters are part of the every-day vocabulary of most children. Go fish games with picture-letters act like training wheels, making it easier to memorize which meaningless letters go with which meaningless sounds.

These are not lock-step workbook pages. You can play all the games or just some of them over and over every lesson because children this age like to play go fish (and
like to win!). If you have ever dragged a reluctant child through books that were too hard or worksheets that were too easy, you know that individualizing makes tutoring a lot more fun, especially when you see how the pictures speed up the learning process.

As you incorporate writing into your lessons, the pictures help because you can say things like "You need another hump for the other mitten" or "The u looks like the
handle on the umbrella."
The Picture Packets have miniature versions of these picture-letters. These packets are for teaching children how to go from sounds to words by spelling three-letter words with movable cards. The children don't need to count out the sounds with taps or tokens because the letters on these cards can be seen and touched and moved around, making the process much more explicit. The picture-letters are already familiar from playing the Mnemonic Picture Game. The next step is learning how these sounds, in sequence, combine to form words. You will find that children can build words with these cards before they are able to blend sounds. The packets circumvent (and foster) blending in children who are not yet able to process the sounds they have memorized.
I am offering these free as e-mail attachments, which can be printed and cut out for handson materials.

Why am I doing this? My answer: I've had so much fun using these games that I would like others to try them. What am I saving it for?

Ann Turner, 211 Mountainside Road, Mendham, NJ 07945
Click here to see the PICTURE PACKETS
Click LESSON PLANS to see how to use the Mnemonic Picture Games
                   in a program for tutoring an at-risk beginner.