Tales of Phonics


1. Mary took her 4 year old daughter (Grace) to The Isle of Wight for a two week holiday in a caravan. They had a wonderful time but it eventually came to an end and they had to walk up to the very posh house on the hill to return the key. Grace wanted to go so Mary told her that she ought to pick out her best dress for the visit. When she was prepared they set out up the hill. After a long walk thy arrived and Mary lifted Grace up to use the brass door knocker.
A minute later a kindly old lady appeared who looked at Mary holding out the key and then down at Grace and said with a big smile, “Oh my, what a lovely frock.”
Mary looked at Grace who was usually bubbly and full of chat and said, “Say thank you Grace.” However the look on Grace’s face was one of tight lipped determination. “I don’t understand,” said Mary to the lady, “She’s usually so full of fun.”

“Never mind, she’s very young” came the reply.

Mary thanked the lady for a wonderful time and then said goodbye. Finally she returned to Grace and asked, “Wouldn’t you like to say goodbye darling?” Grace stood there stock still, looking straight ahead with her bottom lip trembling just a little but refused to speak.

“Oh well, perhaps next year,” said Mary with a smile and they set off back down the path.
They had gone about 50 metres when Mary asked her daughter, “Why wouldn’t you speak to the kind lady Grace?”
Finally the bottom lip stopped trembling as Grace burst into floods of tears. Very gradually she was eventually able to answer, “She….called…….me….a……frog.”


2. Playing I-Spy with the reception class, Timmy had us all guessing something that begins with “ch”. We had all been guessing things like “children” and “chair” before, after far too long a time, finally giving up.
At last he triumphantly pointed out of the window and revealed he was thinking of the “chrees”.

3. Heard in a neighbouring school:

“I went on The Woodland Trip. We saw a fawn.”
“Oh, I cut my finger on one of those in the garden”.


4. Two years before I retired I received a Christmas card from Angelina, a lovely and very advanced 4/5 year old girl in reception who had thrown herself into learning phonics and was achieving marvels. I had taught her mother who was over the moon. Hence at Christmas Angelina was determined to write all her own cards. One morning she ran up to me in the playground and proudly presented me with my card. It had a pretty good effort at spelling my name on the front. When I opened it up there and then (as you had to do for the very young children) the message in tiny tot lettering was, “Fuk u for bee in sch a gd hedteecha”. As I thanked her and (quite rightly) made a fuss of that smiling and expectant countenance, it proved difficult to keep a straight face. Mostly I was imagining her mother looking over Angelina’s shoulder the night before with a big and knowing smile on her face.

Teaching is a joy.


5. Not quite phonics but it fits here
In reception the children were playing “Name The Body Parts”.
Ear, nose, eye, cheek and so on were all correctly identified. When asked to identify his “heart” Colin immediately jumped up and pointed to his bottom. When the teacher asked how he knew this he explained, “My Nan comes around to see us a lot and she’s always saying, ‘Bless his little heart’ and then she pats me there”.