Ending Sounds Prompting

UDL 2.3 UDL 3.2

Ending Sounds Prompting is a phonological awareness strategy in which a teacher prompts students to segment the sounds of several words in order to identify words that end with the same sound. To begin, the teacher presents students with simple, familiar words (e.g., CVC words, high-frequency words). The teacher then models segmentation of each word (e.g., "Cat. /c/ - /a/ -/t/"), placing great emphasis on the final ending sound through repetition and chanting (e.g., "Cat. /t/, /t/, /t/"). Following modeling, the teacher prompts students to determine which words in the set have the same ending sounds. As students become proficient, the teacher frequently integrates Ending Sounds Prompting into interactive, engaging activities (e.g., word sorts, games, rhymes). Repetition and active engagement make Ending Sounds Prompting effective in supporting emergent readers in solidifying phonological concepts.

Implementation Tips

Introducing Ending Sounds Prompting
Introduce students to phoneme isolation by explicitly modeling sound segmentation of words (e.g., "Fish. /f/ - /i/ - /sh/."). When students show understanding, begin to emphasize the ending sounds. Use repetition, increased volume, or drag out the last sound (e.g., "Fish. /f/ - /i/ - /shhh/.") for emphasis.
Auditory Representation
Introduce Ending Sounds Prompting as a listening game to increase engagement (e.g., "Can you name the ending sound of the word hen?"). Once students have identified the ending sound, facilitate chanting out the segmented sounds, repeating the final sound (e.g., "Hen. /h/ - /e/ - /n/ - /n/ -/n/.").
Visual Representation
Use a slinky as visual model to show students how a word can be “stretched out.” Say a word aloud, holding a slinky. As each sound is emphasized, stretch the slinky out, visually demonstrating how a word can be segmented. Have students share the final sound they hear when the slinky is extended.
Tactile Representation
Integrate Alphabet Blocks into sound segmentation exercises to offer kinesthetic opportunities for engagement. Use the blocks to spell out several words (e.g., hop, mat, man). Encourage students to segment each sound within the words to determine which words share the same ending sound.
Integrating Games
Facilitate Ending Sounds Prompting using interactive games. Engaging games (e.g., [[,1&wid=400&hei=300&fmt=jpeg&qlt=100,1&op_sharpen=0&resMode=bilin&op_usm=5,0.25,25,0|ending sound sort]], [[ | matching game]], [[ |fill-in-the-blank]]) can be easily created or located with a quick internet search. Include these games in learning centers for additional practice.
Using Literature
Read engaging rhyming books (e.g., [[,204,203,200_.jpg|Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom]], [[,204,203,200_.jpg|Llama, Llama Red Pajama]]) to give students additional practice identifying ending sounds. While reading aloud, pause to emphasize ending sounds and ask students to share the common ending sounds that they hear.
Routine Implementation
Integrate the strategy throughout the school day to give students ample opportunities for practice. Ending Sounds Prompting can be used as a warm-up activity prior to a reading lesson, a fun game between lessons or as a small group activity for students who are having difficulty with segmentation.


Practicing Whole Group
During circle time, a preschool teacher engages students in a listening game, instructing students to turn on their "listening ears,” in order to be “sound detectives.” Next, the teacher explains to students that they will be listening closely to identify the ending sounds in a list of words. To begin, the teacher calls out the first word, "mom." Students easily recognize the ending sound as /m/. Together, the teacher and students repeat and chant the /m/ sound. The teacher continues the game, listing words for students to segment in order to determine and chant out the ending sound. Once the class has identified all of the ending sounds, the teacher challenges the “master detectives” to determine which words in the list have the same ending sound.
Small Group Intervention
A teacher notices that a few students are struggling to decode ending sounds of unfamiliar words, a skill necessary for reading and spelling development. During literacy centers, the teacher pulls this group of students aside for small group instruction. The teacher decides to introduce alphabet blocks to provide the group with a visual and tactile representation of phonological concepts. Using the alphabet blocks, the teacher models spelling out several CVC words with the same ending sound (e.g., can, hen, man), reading each word aloud, then slowly isolating each block/sound in the word to model segmentation, emphasizing the ending sound. Following modeling, the teacher leads the group in collectively segmenting several more sets of CVC words in order to identify the common ending sounds. As the group practices, the teacher closely observes to gauge student understanding. When the group begins to demonstrate a strong grasp of ending sounds, the teacher increases the level of challenge, substituting the ending phonemes of words (e.g., hat to had) and prompting students to identify the new ending sound.

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