To reinforce phonics or a particular phonogram in your reading program, provide students with the necessary letters to make the words that you want to teach. For example, to teach the short vowel sound a, you might display the letters t, p, s, and a on the overhead. Ask students to identify the vowel and then ask students to think of words using these letters (e.g., tap, sat, sap, pat, past). Arrange the words on the overhead and have students read them with you. Students can also be manipulating their own letter tiles at their desk or copying the words into their journal or personal dictionary. This is also a good time to discuss real words and their meanings as compared with nonsense words (e.g., tas). Emphasize that the word past uses all the letters and is the mystery word.
Make letter cards out of 9" x 12" tagboard, one letter per card. Punch holes into the tagboard and insert yarn so that students can wear the cards around their head with the letter hanging down in front. Invite students to act as the “director” and position students to make words. Alphabet cookies and pretzels are available in some stores. Give students the necessary letters to make words. After making and reading the words, students can eat them.