No Dr. Seuss week would be complete without spending a little time with Fox in Socks. We pulled out the tattered, well-loved copy that Emelie got for her first birthday and read it together. This one is a little harder for her to read by herself, because there are so many made up words and tongue twisters. But it’s always fun to listen to, especially when Mamma’s tongue gets tangled. That whole part with Bim and Ben and their brooms gets me every time!
We had worked quite a bit with The Cat in the Hat and word families. I felt like Emelie had a firm grasp on words that end with the same sound because they end with the same letters. She confidently changed the beginning sound and spelled long lists of rhyming words. Fox in Socks presents an opportunity to talk about words that rhyme but use different letter combinations to make the same sound – such as, well, “fox” and “socks”.
I didn’t find a resource available online to help us work with this in the way I wanted to, so I created one. It’s a basic chart for sorting words into different groups and comparing them: -ox/-ocks words and -ix/-icks words. As we read the book, Emelie was to be a word detective (she’s very interested in all things detective these days) and look for words that would fit into one of these boxes. We listened to how they rhyme even though they look different and are spelled differently.
While we didn’t work with them as formally and write them in a chart, we looked at other sounds that can be made with different letter combinations but still sound the same. Phrases like “Hose goes. Rose grows.” and “new blue goo” made her a bit wide-eyed, and then the word detective was off on the lookout for other same sound/different spelling words. She had a dramatic pretend-to-faint reaction when I pointed out “come” and “dumb”. English is weird sometimes.
So here’s the chart – feel free to download it. Freely I have received, so freely I give. There are three pages in the file– the first page is a blank chart, the second page is an answer key, and the third has traceable answers for those still working on writing letters. I hope you’ll use it creatively, expand on it, make it your own. If you do, please leave a comment to share your ideas with others!
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