How To Teach Phonics With A Letter Swap

How to teach phonics with a letter swap - Easy ESL Games site thumb

Letter Swaps are as fun and easy way to let your students play around with the different sounds in their names.  This post shows you how to use 2 fast and fun phonics activities to grab your students attention. 

The Details About Letter Swaps:

  • ​The only materials required are a whiteboard or a piece of paper and a marker.
  • ​A game of Letter Swaps should last around 10 minutes depending on the size of your class.
  • ​This game works best with students that are learning how to read.

This game teaches students how to play with and manipulate the different sounds (phonemes) in their names.


Here's How To Play Letter Swap

Version #1

  1. ​Simply write or have the students write their names on the whiteboard or paper.
  2. Next we start playing around with their names.
  3. Today I'm teaching the letter G so I will start changing the letters of the name so they have G. So Akira becomes Akiga, then Agiga and so on. Kids think this is hilarious. If they can read the name themselves it's better but if they can't,  their still seeing and hearing the letter sounds.
  4. You can also pull out random letters and Add them.
Use a letter swap to make learning phonics fun#1 - Easy ESL Games

Version #2

  1. The second way requires a little more preparation. Write your student's names on post-it notes but breakup the names either into syllables, phonemes, or whatever makes sense.
  2. Then you start swapping the post-it notes to make new names.
  3. You can use the same idea for other words such as animal names. Mix the words of kangaroo and octopus to make kangapus or an octoroo. 
  4. Then the students can draw the new, imaginary animal.
Use a letter swap to make learning phonics fun#2 - Easy ESL Games
Use a letter swap to make learning phonics fun#3 - Easy ESL Games

Letter Swaps:

    • They're fast.
    • ​They're fun. 
    • They're a great way to help your students master phonics.