The letter /f/ is a fun sound for students to learn, and is normally one of the easier sounds for students to say. This sound should be easy to say and practice for students. As many languages already have the letter f sound, it can be pronounced by young children at an early age. Students will love to learn the /f/ sound and pretend to be a fish!
Phonics Pronunciation of Letter F sound
The /f/ sound is usually taught by putting your hands together while biting your lower lip while saying ffffffffff, like a fish. You can make extra motions like a fish swimming while you say fffffff fish! All that you need to do with your mouth to make the /f/ sound is rest your front teeth on your bottom lip and blow air. You are just passing the air through this without any vibration.
Most students will be able to say the /f/ sound well, but if your student is having a hard time and maybe saying the /p/ sound, go back and emphasize the passing of air. You can also focus on the shape and movement of your mouth (as like a fish), and encourage them to copy you. An advanced version of the f sound is letter v, which is similar to /f/ but with vibrating sounds.
You can practice the /f/ sound clearly for your students, and hold the /f/ sound for a few seconds, to show them that this sound does not have an inherent end. After they have repeat the /f/ sound, you can add vowel sounds to this sound as in fa,fa,fa, fo,fo,fo, fe,fe,fe and fee, fee ,fee. Once they are able to say these sounds well enough, you can move onto the 3 letter CVC words for them to blend.
Here’s a video on the letter f sound!
This sound is often quite visual for students, so you can really direct their attention to the shape of your mouth when you say /f/. You can also use a mirror to show the students how they are forming the sound with their mouth, and what they need to do to correct this. This can be useful, as sometimes students are unaware of how they make the sound, and mirror shows them this.
Another way is to show them the /f/ sound release air when made, so you can move their hand in front of your mouth to show them this release of air. Be sure to exaggerate your movements and how much air you blow out, so they get the idea of how the /f/ sound is made.
Handwriting Help with letter /F/
Many students have fun with writing the letter /F/, especially with the uppercase /F/, as it is easier to write and bigger for them to see. Also as it only uses straight lines, it will be easier for the students to try and write this letter. Practice the letter f with phonics books for additional help!
Encourage them to write the uppercase /F/ first, and then you can move onto the lowercase /f/ after they memorize the shape. Also as the students should have already learned the shape /E/, this shape should be an easy transition for them in writing. You can also checkout some ABC books to help with this.
Of course if your students struggles to write this letter or has a hard time writing straight lines, you should try to work on strengthening their hand muscles or helping them grip their pencil correctly. There are also many worksheets and activities out there for tracing the letters with straight lines, such as /F/. You can buy some of their favorite toys or balls, and arrange them in the letter /F/!.
It is usually fun for students to say the letter /f/, and pretend to be a fish when saying fffff. You can play with the students while saying the ffffffff sound, and make funny faces when pronouncing it. Also there are many colorful fish, you can use coloring worksheet of fish for the students to color and talk about fish. If they do not like fish, you can find some fruit to color as well. Be creative with the coloring activities, as this will also help them later on with writing and coloring within the lines.
Letter /f/ Blending
As the letter /f/ can be an easier sound for students, they should be able to master the sound and move up to the harder sounds quickly. If they are still having troubles, take your time to go over the /f/ sound and repeat it while focusing on how the sound is made and the shape of your mouth. Once the students can repeat the /f/ sound well, you can incorporate the vowel sounds into your blending with fa,fa,fa, fo,fo,fo, fe, fe, fe, and fi,fi,fi. As this sound is a bit easier for students to say and blend at first, you can make it harder for them by using /f/ at the end. Try to have the students move on and say af,af,af, if,if,if, ef,ef,ef, and off,off,off.
Once the students can blend these sounds well, you can move onto the three letter CVC words. Introduce them to the easy CVC words as in f-a-n, f-a-t, f-i-t, f-u-n. Once the students have a good understanding of this blending, you can start to introduce 4 letters words to the students, as by now the students should know a handful of sounds and blending. You can start slow with the words f-a-s-t, f-i-s-t, f-i-sh, f-ee-t, f-oo-d, f-r-o-g. At first it will be hard for the students, and don’t feel that you need to pressure them to blend it correctly, if they have a hard time. As long as they start to understand longer words with 4 sounds or 3 with a long vowel is OK for now.
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Once the students can repeat the /f/ sound and blend some 3 or 4 letters words well, you can reinforce this sound with teaching them more everyday words. Here are some good words for students to remember when learning and remembering the /f/ sound!
Many animals start with the /f/ sound that interest students, such as fish, fox and frog. You can even act like a fish or frog when saying and repeating the word.
Numbers are important for students to learn, and you can repeat the numbers four and five. Choose four or five objects in the room, and have the students practice saying the numbers.
You can also incorporate colorful fruit into the lesson, and have students tell you if a food is a fruit or not. Apple? Fruit!! Banana? Fruit!! Egg? No!
Letter /f/ sentence reading
After learning how to say and blend words with the letter /f/, it’s good to introduce basic sentences to the children to read. These sentences are meant to be basic for students learning the alphabet letters and phonics as their second language.
Here are some short sentences you can read together with the students.
A fat man.
I am fat. I am fit.
The fan is on.
I see a fish.
A lot of fun!
It’s important your students practice reading short sentences, so they gain the confidence and can practice their blending skills. Therefore, encourage your students to read these sentences to improve their phonics and blending with the letter /f/ !
Letter f tongue twisters
The letter /f/ tongue twisters can be incredibly fun to say and funny to see students faces as they move their lips and teeth. Get ready for some /f/ tongue twisters!
Four fliers flip flop
Four fliers flip flop
Four fliers flip flop
Fried fresh fish,
Fish fried fresh,
Fresh fried fish,
Fresh fish fried,
Or fish fresh fried.
Five frantic frogs fled from fifty fierce fishes
Five fat French fleas freeze