Fred Fingers – Segmentation

Understanding that words are made up of sequences of individual sounds, or phonemes, is a building block for learning to sound out individual words.
In phonics we use a puppet called Fred the Frog who can only speak in sounds, not whole words. FRED teaches the children to use their fingers to break down words into their individual sounds to assist spelling.  When children look at their own fingers, it allows them to  visualise each sound of the word on a single finger.

For Example: three-fingers[1]

The word ‘CAT’ = C-A-T this will have 3 fingers and one sound is put on each finger in turn, working left to right

The word ‘SHIP’ will also have 3 fingers = SH-I-P

The word ‘FLAG’ would have 4 fingers F-L-A-G

The word ‘PLAY’ would have 3 fingers P-L-AY

The word ‘BLAST’ would have 5 fingers B-L-A-S-T

 To help at home:
The ability to spell words by hearing individual sounds will often lag behind the ability to use Fred Talk to blend sounds when reading words. Help your child to hear initial sounds, end sounds in words, then medial sounds in words.
For example:
Initial sounds: Ask your child to find you something beginning with ‘b.’ Perhaps have pictures of objects (picture lotto games are useful here) and select items with the same beginning sound – boy, bone, bath, but then another object that begins with a different sound. Can your child spot the odd one out.
Similarly you can play this game looking at the end sounds.
Medial sounds are somewhat harder for children. Perhaps show a picture of a bug, ask your child to sound it out using Fred Fingers – what was the sound on the middle finger (‘u’)

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