Phonetic Object Box



– To recognize there is another way to communicate
– To help the child realize that a written word is a group of sounds represented by graphic signs and has a meaning.
– Introduction to reading.

Control of Error
The directress

4 1/2 – 5 years onwards

– A box containing ten to twelve objects, the names of which are phonetic (single symbol – single sound)
– Objects could be: jug, bus, car, hat, basket, hat, box, clog, pig, dog, peg, bag, drum, etc.
– Supply tray – pencil, paper, and scissors
– Prepared labels

– The child is ready for this first reading experience with classroom material if he reads words in the environment such as a book title, a word composed with the Moveable Alphabet or another word someone else has written.
– The directress writes in the chosen script and the labels are also typed in the same print.
– Be sure the presentation conveys to the child that reading is another way to communicate.
– The children are accustomed to working with second sounds and may need some time to fuse the sounds together to make a word with meaning.

Presentation 1: Objects and labels

– Box of objects
– Tray of materials
– Prepared labels


  1. Have the child take out all of the objects from the box and as he does so, have him name all f the objects so you are sure that the child knows what each is.
  2. Tell the child that you are thinking of one of the objects but you are not going to say a word.
  3. Write one of the objects a slip of paper.
  4. With the child, look at the letters and make the sounds of the word.
  5. Repeat the sounds a little fast and a little faster until you are both saying the word and not the individual sounds.
  6. Have the child repeat the word and then place the label with that item.
  7. Continue in the same way until you have placed all of the labels with the appropriate object.
  8. Ask the child to pick up the labels, mix them, read one by one and place them below the objects again.
  9. If the child doesn’t struggle, then present the pre-written labels. – Tell the child that these are prepared labels for the objects.
  10. The child can read the prepared labels and place them next to their object.
  11. The child can work alone.

The child works as shown with the prepared tickets and objects alone.

Presentation 2: Placing labels with objects

– Box of objects
– Prepared labels


  1. Have the child place all of the objects in a vertical line.
  2. Ask the child what is the name of the first object in the column.
  3. The child says the name and then reads through the prepared labels to find the correct one.
  4. Continue in this way until all objects have a label.

The child can work as shown in the presentation.

Presentation 3: Objects from the room

– Supply Tray


  1. Tell the child, “I’m going to write something for you.”
  2. Have the child read it. For example the word “box” was written.
  3. Have the child bring the label and go to a shelf and have him find the word you have written. (For example, the child would bring the label to a box on the shelf and place the label on the box.)
  4. Repeat this for other words, one at a time, such as the words basket, map, jug. (Objects in the classroom with short phonetic names.)
  5. Once done, have the child pick up the labels from around the room.

Presentation 4: No Objects

– Box with words from the box written on them


  1. Bring the child over to the shelf and have him bring over the material.
  2. Tell the child that this is a set of cards for reading.
  3. Show him each card one at a time and have the child read the word on the card.
  4. The child can continue reading the cards on his own.

The child can read the cards as shown in the presentation.

Presentation 5: Writing the labels

– Box of objects (just use the prepared labels)
– Supply tray
– If needed, single lined paper


  1. Have the child bring over the material.
  2. Tell the child that we can now write all of the objects from the objects box.
  3. Give the child one prepared label.
  4. Have him read it, turn it over and then write it.
  5. Have him check his writing with the prepared labels.
  6. Place his written word and the prepared label up at the top of the table.
  7. Repeat for all of the labels. Place all of the written labels on top of each other and all of the prepared labels on top of each other.
  8. Then the child can make a booklet of all of the objects from the object box.

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