Download Heart Words - Flashcards in a .zip file to inspire your little learners.
In the Little Learners decodable books, there are a few high-frequency words that children cannot decode yet. We call these ‘Heart words’ because children need to learn them by heart to read them. Many Heart words become decodable later in the program when children have more knowledge of the alphabetic code. A few Heart words will not become decodable – they are irregular or use uncommon phoneme–grapheme correspondences.
Heart Word Flashcards
Even though children cannot decode our Heart words when they first appear in the books, it is still useful to break Heart words into sounds.
At lower levels, sound out the word for children as you point to the graphemes. Where possible, identify the phoneme–grapheme correspondences that children already know and give them the ‘tricky part’.
For example: ‘This word is “you”. There are two sounds in “you”: /y/ and /oo/. We already know that the letter y represents the /y/ sound. Let’s say it together: /y/. The difficult bit is this (ou) – the letters o and u represent the /oo/ sound in this word (two letters, one sound): /oo/ Let's say it together: /oo/. The word is /yoo/, you. What's the word? Can you tell your partner? Let’s practise reading and writing “you”.’
Use these flashcards before reading the books in your small group settings. You may also want to send them home alongside the decodable books for extra practice.