BAH 2: sample materials

Below, is a brief description of the sample materials from Blending a Hand 2 which can be found on this web site. A complete level of Coloring Worksheets, as well as selections from other BAH2 sections, are provided here for your benefit. Blending a Hand 2 can be ordered from

Coloring Worksheets

There are seven levels in Coloring Worksheets, level 1 has 26 worksheets for colouring and tracing with a vocabulary of 130 phonically regular words arranged alphabetically with five pictures/decodable words to a worksheet, this gives you a basic A-Z dictionary. There is a choice of three sets of crosswords, 10 to a set, one set has 20 (picture) words to a crossword, another has 24 and the other has 26. There are also two sets of word searches (10 to a set), with 13 or 18 words/pictures to a puzzle. All the clues in the word searches and crossword puzzles are pictures which can all be found in Coloring Worksheets. There are now seven levels, levels 2-7 also contain sentenced worksheets for reading and tracing. Altogether, I think there are about 480 different worksheets. In the earlier levels, you also have additional word searches and crosswords as well as a choice of tracing fonts. There is a total vocabulary of 610 phonically regular words.

Levels one and two follow this sequence found in David Paul's Finding Out book 1 and contains all of the vocabulary found in that book.
It is recommended that students, who are using Finding Out, should complete units 1 through 9 before starting Coloring Worksheets, this way, they will be able to read and write all the words without any wild guessing. If the worksheets are given too early and before students have learned basic blending and segmenting techniques, then they tend to just copy words from Coloring Worksheets when doing their crosswords. After awhile, most students stop checking in, or copying from, the Coloring Worksheets for spelling and just use their knowledge, this is the way it should be.

Coloring Worksheets samples (complete)

L1 vocabulary
L1 vocabulary (graded)


Printing Words

The approximately 100 word-sentence formation worksheets gives students practice in reading and writing sentences fluently. The characters in the words are deliberately spaced closely together to enable students to use 'joined up writing' from the very beginning. The vast majority of adults in Japan don't use joined up writing, they print when writing English. But joined up writing and the ability to read it is a very important skill and will enable your students to write more in whatever time given. The worksheets come in seven levels, level 1 only has a few worksheets, but there are 16 worksheets to each level after that and level 2 matches the double sound sequence found in Finding Out book 1.

I use a similar font when writing on the board, so I too write more in a short time and thus can hold the attention of my students while I write; they soon get used to reading it.

For a tracing font, I usually use 'AbcDNManusDottedLined', an italic or semi cursive font, which is available on the CD-ROM "Fonts4Teachers", all my "Printing Words" worksheets use this font and most of my students learn joined up writing with this font. One of my first grade junior high school students is so proud because she can write faster than her teacher and I noticed one of my third-grade elementary school students (second year of study) using very neat joined up writing and it's all through tracing practice using this font. In the beginning, I will go around assisting the students in writing words without lifting their pencils of paper, then later I see that most of them are doing it without my encouragement as they want to finish quickly and play a game of 'Switchit' before going home. As to the reading, sometimes they read a worksheet as a group before writing, other times they take one sentence each and some other times I will ask them just to read a few sentences after they have completed the worksheet as it is very important to be able to read your own writing.

Like someone else mentioned, I also like to expose the students to a variety of fonts and because the Finding Out homebooks contain only a small amount of letter formation practice, which doesn't impact strongly on most students so I, like other teachers, can easily introduce students to a font and letter formation of my liking. Some teachers have worried about students using a different writing style in junior high school to what is prescribed but I've never experienced or heard about any conflict in this area from my students.

Printing Words samples


Dialogue cards

A series of "dialogue cards", which can be used for reading and pairwork, has been developed as an alternative to traditional role play. In some ways they are more valuable than role play, they are time efficient, everyone is involved, the students are practicing their reading skills and they are learning dialogues whose meaning is made clear through pictures. Many of the dialogues focus on a single phoneme or sound, for example, the dialogue "Disaster Report" focuses on the phoneme /oi/ and the dialogue "Good Night Sleep Tight" focuses on the phoneme /igh/ and each dialogue concentrates on a particular theme or topic. They can be used with students from upper elementary school to adults.

A simple way of using these cards is to lay two of each card around the classroom, put the students in pairs (the teacher may partake) and go through each card once or twice (changing roles) and as soon as one pair is finished, have them pick up all the spare cards and the activity will wind down naturally.

To make the cards, printout each dialogue twice on separate B5 sized cards and laminate each card. Simple.

"Also, not really readers or stories, but for those of you using David Lisgo's Blending a Hand CD, you might want to have a look at the dialogue cards. There are some hilarious exchanges in there. I've been using these voraciously ever since I got the latest CD and the kids LOVE acting out the (sometimes bizarre) dialogues. It wasn't until I tried writing my own similar dialogue cards (with horrible results) that I realized just how difficult it must have been for David to think of texts which were both meaningful, decodable AND engaging. Fit perfectly with Finding Out as well. I hope to see more in the future."
-Kaj Schwermer

Dialogue Cards samples

A new drink
Animal farm
Broken leg
Family holiday

Story Cards

Story Cards can offer us practice in the basic skills of reading and speaking , the amount of picture support will vary depending upon whether your emphasis is upon reading or speaking. If the emphasis is upon speaking, then it is even possible to substitute a well-known picture for the actual word (There's a word for this. What is it?), but if the emphasis is upon reading then these pictures may be of a hindrance as the child might just read the picture or guess at the word instead of decoding it. I think that the main purpose of having pictures should be to give meaning to the text, a secondary purpose is to interest the child in the reading material. The stories themselves, though easily read, have a wide interest range. Some of my adult students have really enjoyed the stories and found them useful in assisting them with pronunciation and fluency. Reading aloud accurately and fluently will assist fluency in speech.

Decodability of the stories. Of course very few words in English are truly decodable in the sense that we can move from writing to speech with 100% accuracy. Remember Douglas Corin's 2000 word list, its on Nicolas's web site . Whatever happened to Douglas? Well I don't think you can do a lot with those words but I haven't yet tried. Tweakable, now that's a good word, if it's tweakable, then it's usable. For me "Zimbabwe" is pronounced as it is written and doesn't need tweaking "Brazil" does but even if students pronounce it as it is written, then it's close enough for me. If I rely on words which only have pure sounds, then I think that my stories will be very unnatural. Like "A cat sat on a mat". In writing my stories I generally avoided rimes (word families) as I want the children to decode right through the word. I've always ignored the schwa and felt that students assimilate this sound somewhat naturally and also it's very difficult to teach, I think my Oxford dictionary has 12 different pronunciations for a shwa.

The first two stories use mostly the letters from the first two units of Finding Out 1 and, depending upon how soon you introduce blending and the age of your students, there would be the possibility of giving the students their first story cards within a month of them starting Finding Out. A story card is easier to make than a book because you can use clip art for the illustrations, this means you don't have to be an artist. The first thing that I did was compile a list of possible words, made from the five short vowels and the consonants b, c, d, g and t, which were then used for the first two story cards.

Most decodable books have a vocabulary of under 50 words and even though they claim to be decodable, they often have up to 20% of the book in high frequency irregular words, whereas the story cards have an average vocabulary of about 140 words, yet less than 5% of this vocabulary is composed of high frequency irregular words. Although I understand the importance of high frequency irregular vocabulary, I have deliberately avoided it whenever possible so that in level 1 the only difficulty a child is presented with is pronouncing Ss as /z/ in words like "is", "has" and some plural endings. Levels 2 and 3 use very few high frequency irregular words. This made it difficult to write perfectly naturally sounding stories and some of the stories may seem a little awkward because of it, but I believe this disadvantage is worthwhile because the students get lots of extra practice in using the target sound (phoneme) and spelling.

I have introduced silent letters from level 2, they are printed blue. I've also used red, from level 3, to indicate many long vowel sounds and the voiceless 'th'. This is to encourage fluency and give a little extra help to the students and it also has the benefit of giving me more words to choose from.
Here are a few details about the books.

Story Cards level 1 Total Words: 1636 (excluding titles)

1. A Big Egg 50 words. Phonemes from Finding Out 1 (FO1) Units 1 & 2 + 'n'
2. Dog Dog Dog 66 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 & 2 + 's'
3. A Man Can 57 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 3
4. Dad Is Mad 92 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 3
5. Kids 56 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 4 + 'w'
6. Is Jack Back? 87 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 4
7. A Fat Cat 80 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 5 + 'r'
8. Black Sands 81 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 5
9. Hunting 76 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 6
10. Brazil, Zimbabwe and Mexico 145 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 6
11. Fred's Dog 113 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 6
12. Pam's Pals 134 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 6
13. Ken's Travels 164 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 6
14. Cliff and Linda 145 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 6
15. A Trip across Africa 141 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 6
16. Bandit from Badlands 149 words. Phonemes from FO1 Units 1 through 6

Story Cards level 2 Total Words: 2218 (excluding titles)

1. Animal Antics 96 words. /ch/ as in chicken
2. Fishing 118 words. /sh/ as in ship
3. Lee's Jeep 139 words. /ee/ as in tree
4. Dean and Jean Dream 120 words. /ea/ as in seal
5. Robin Hood 124 words. /oo/ as in foot
6. A Trip to the Zoo 133 words. /oo/ as in spoon
7. Getting up 124 words. /ar/ as in car
8. Tracking Animals 143 words. /ou/ as in house
9. Pandora's Box 131 words. /or/ as in horse
10. Shirl and the Birds 154 words. /ir/ as in girl
11. Miss Brown's Dog 155 words. /ow/ as in cow
12. Boys in a Toyshop 162 words. /oy/ as in boy
13. A Trip to the Coast 179 words. /oa/ as in boat
14. Willow 155 words. /ow/ as in window
15. Elaine in Spain words. 140 /ai/ as in tail
16. Holidays 145 words. /ay/ as in tray

Story Cards level 3 Total Words: 1381 (excluding titles)

1. Grown-up Friends 143 words. /er/ as in teacher
2. Visitors 134 words. /or/ as in doctor
3. Show and Tell 183 words. /a/ as in cake
4. Zeke the Viking 169 words. /e/ as in Japanese
5. Taiwan: An Island Paradise 139 words. /i/ as in kite
6. Homesick 152 words. /o/ as in notebook
7. Substitute 158 words. /u/ as in cube and /u/ as in flute
8. Mother is Seething 148 words. /th/ as in this
9. The Marathon 155 words. /th/ as in bath


If you have any questions or comments about these worksheets, games and materials then please don't hesitate to contact me. Also, if you find any errors in the worksheets then please let me know.
David Lisgo

... website created and hosted by & niconiko language school