Aside from my obsession with new recipes and saving money, my whole goal in life is to trick my second-grader into thinking learning is fun. His teachers have mastered the art of deception. I … on the other hand … well, I’m working on it. Here’s the proof.
When my son reads the word “face,” he almost always says
“fake.” Figuring out when to use the hard and soft c can be difficult. Before
we started our activity, we watched Sean Kingston’s “Two Ways to Say C”
performance from Electric Company on YouTube.
Not only is Kingston’s song catchy, but it’s helpful too.
The following lyrics are proof:
When the c is hard, it sounds just like a k …
When the c is soft it sounds just like an s …
Now if a c comes before an e, i, or y,
That is when you know to give the softer c a try …
And when the c comes before an l, r, or t,
You probably want to use the harder sounding c.
After we listened and danced a little, I gave my son a Venn
diagram and some lick-and-stick words that started with and/or contained the
letter c. (Download the Two Ways to Say C Venn Diagram and word list here.)
We made the lick-and-stick words a few days earlier, with instructions from I Can Teach My Child. I cut a
piece of freezer paper to 8 ½ by 11 inches and printed our words on it. (I used
freezer paper to prevent the liquid from seeping through and smearing my
ink-jet printed words.) Then I dissolved 1 tablespoon of grape jello (pick the
flavor of your liking) in 2 tablespoons of boiling water.
Once the mixture had cooled, I handed my son a sponge
brush and he “painted” the back (i.e. waxy side) of the printed words. I let it
dry thoroughly before cutting out the words.
With a little help pronouncing the words, my son was able to
sort which words made the hard c sound (e.g. car, camel, candy), which made the
soft c sound (i.e. city, cereal, price), and which made both (e.g. circle,
concert, circus). All he had to do was remember the rules from the “Two Ways to
Say C” song, figure out where to put them on the Venn Diagram, and lick 'em and
While the stickers aren't a necessity, I think the grape-flavored words certainly added to my son's enjoyment of the activity. What a tasty way to learn about hard and soft c!