Friday, December 21, 2012

The Electric "Speech" Company

My memory of The Electric Company as a kid is solely the fact that they had Spiderman on the show.  I thought it was the coolest ever.  Well, let's say after twenty some odd years later, after seeing it again, it was really cheesy.  After little research (looking at a picture), I noticed that Bill Cosby and Morgan Freeman were on there too.  I actually stumbled upon some of The Electric Company activities when writing my previous blog about age appropriate activities.  I started messing around and found a slew of articulation and phonemic awareness interactive games, activities, and videos from the Electric Company.

Since I'm a speech language pathologist and technology enthusiast, I found it very interesting that PBS Learning Media had so many resources for phonology and articulation.  Their activities are built around these areas:  decoding, phonemic blending, vocabulary, connected text, and motivation.  The website integrates these areas using interactive games and videos for practice and fun.  Here are some of the example activities:

Say What?
Say What? is a game that focuses on recognizing different sounds in different positions of words.  Players must listen and find the correct sounds to complete the words.  This game focuses on consonant blends, word families, consonant digraphs, and short vowel sounds.  This game could most definitely be done either in an individual setting or in a classroom setting.  Try it on your SMART Board!

The Chain Game
In this activity, users must listen to directions and create new words using different sounds and sound blends.  The game teaches players how to replace a sound in one word to make another word while exploring phonics and word-building skills.  The games include levels for consonant blends, digraphs, vowel combinations, and short vowel sounds.  This could be a great SMART Board activity to try with an entire class.  Search "Electric Company" or "Chain Game" on PBS Learning Media's website to find the entire list.

The Electric Company Videos
As a fun way to supplement these interactive activities, The Electric Company has many videos that practice using these skills through songs, story telling, and poetry.  You can "Bop along with the Music Man" or listen to beat boxing with "Shock & Friend".  It's really fun stuff.  Again, these would be great if you were doing "push in" therapy with an entire class.  If you search "Electric Company" and narrow the search to "videos", they have over 150 videos available.

Wow!  Who would've guessed that there was so much that the Electric Company had in terms of teaching phonemic awareness?  I actually did a search on PBS Learning Media's website to see what all they had to offer from The Electric Company.  It opened the door to a ton of sound segmentation and combination activities.  This website has so many more activities that I haven't even played around with yet.  Check out their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for up to date information.