Physical Phoneme Segmentation

Instructional Sequence of Spelling
Whole Group
Building Readers' Word Recognition


In this video, students physically tap out word sounds on their arms. The teacher uses total physical response, visual cues, and interactive methods for learning new words. The words of study connect meaningfully to the topics, themes, and texts read.

Key Take-aways

• Practice blending words that align with your grade-level scope and sequence.
• High-frequency words require explicit phonics instruction rather than using flashcards or memorization.
• Engage in multimodal strategies, using visual and auditory supports.


Dr. Ken Kunz: Watch as our little learners eagerly gather at the interactive whiteboard, physically tapping out the CVC words in our daily message. We’re all about the sequence here. Introducing the word, connecting letters to sounds, and then using that knowledge to build meaning and connect to writing.

Teacher:          Get your arms ready? I’m going to give you a word and we are ready to tap it out. Are you ready? Okay. First, write a can.

Student(s):      /c/ /a/ /n/. Can.

Teacher:          Beautiful. Second word is fun.

Student(s):      /f/ /u/ /n/. Fun.

Teacher:          Very good. Day.

Student(s):      /d/ /a/ /e/. Day.

Teacher:          Let’s try that one again.

Student(s):      /d/ /ei/. Day.

Teacher:          Let’s try it. Do you hear E and day? No. Right? So we’re not going to say that one. Ready? Watch /d/ /ei/. Day. Try it one more time.

Student(s):      /d/ /ei/. Day.

Teacher:          Beautiful. Next one. New.

Student(s):      /n/ /oo/. New.

Teacher:          Yeah! You got it. Very good. All right, you guys can go sit back down. Excellent job.