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Homophone Picture Card Technique

Homophones, words that sound the same but have different meanings and different

spellings, pose a particular problem for students with dyslexia. No set of homophones

wreaks more spelling havoc than the ee/ea set of homophones, which differs only by

only one letter of the vowel team’s spelling.

A great way to tap into the multi-sensory approach to remembering these tough word

pairs is to use cards with the target word pair written boldly and simple illustrations

depicting the meaning of each of two sound-alike words. Below is an illustration of

such a card.

To make the experience multi-sensory, pull in the fuzzy board or tactile surface, and

ask the student to look at the card as they simultaneously say and trace the letters,

then say the word aloud, followed by a short oral example of how the illustration

depicts that spelling of the word. For the above card, a student would trace and say

aloud the letters m-a-l-e, tell themselves the word is male, and say, “A man is a male

person.” The same procedure would be repeated for m-a-i-l, with the simple definition,

“Letters and packages sent through the Post Office are mail.”

Once students understand how to use the homophone picture card technique, the

cards can be made into a self-study drill ring and packaged with a fuzzy board for an

independent classroom activity. Another use of the cards is to include a pair of ee/ea

homophones with each weekly spelling list, using one card per week.

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