We’ve used Zoo-phonics as a starting point for weekly themes. We focus our music, storytimes, and centers around these critters and have found that the kids love having a character to associate to the letter and it’s phonetic sound. They also have a very specific motion that goes with the sound. Above is a picture of what each character looks like and below is the sound of movement. Every vowel is the short vowel sound and each letter is lowercase since most printed text is lowercase:
a – Allie alligator: Open arms wide like an alligator mouth and say the short “a” sound.
b – Bubba Bear: Put one hand up in the air, pretend grab honey, brin to mouth and say “b” as in Bear.
c – Catina Cat: Rub the side of mouth as if cleaning like a cat and say “c” as in cat.
d – Dee Dee Deer: Make bunny ears with both hands and bow them forward saying “d” as in deer.
e – Ellie Elephant: Wave one arm up in the air like an elephant saying the short “e” sound as in elephant
f – Francy Fish: Put one hand on top of the other, palm down, and extend thumbs and say “f”.
g – Gordo Gorilla: pretend peel a banana pulling down one peel and say “g” as in gorilla.
h – Honey Horse: Rub both hands down the front of thighs one time saying “h” as in horse.
i – Inny Inchworm: Hold up pointers and bend them down as you say the short “i” sound as in “inny”.
j – Jerry Jellyfish: Wiggle finger downward in front of your body as you say the sound “j”.
k – Kayo Kangaroo: Hold hands in fists like a boxer. One up and one down. Alternate moving the fists up and
down one time and say the sound “k”.
l – Lizzy Lizard: Hold hands under chin, palms down, and say “l”.
m – Missy Mouse: Pretend to nibble a piece of cheese saying “m”.
n – Nigel Night Owl: Hold fingers like glasses around eyes and say “n”.
o – Olive Octopus: Wave arms at sides like tentacles and say short “o” sound as in “olive”.
p – Pee Wee Penguin: Hold hands at the side of you body like penguins wings with hands extended saying “p”.
q – Queenie Quail: Hold pointer and middle finger up to your forehead like a quail feather and say Qu (kwuh).
r – Robbie Rabbit: Hold hands up like bunny paws and say “r” (ihr not ruh).
s – Sammy Snake: wiggle hand out in front of you like a snake and say “s”.
t – Timmy Tiger: hold hands out like you are holding the bars of a cage and say “t”.
u – Umber Umbrella Bird: hold hand right on top of head like you are holding an umbrella and flap your other hand at your side like a bird saying the short sound “u” as in “up”.
v – Vincent Vampire Bat: hold hands at your lips like vampire teeth and say “v”.
w – Willie Weasel: Hold your hands together and do a mini “wave” like a breakdancer from the eighties (it’s the only way I can think of saying it) and say “w”.
x – Xavier Fox: extend pointer fingers and make an x and say “x” (ks).
y – Yancy Yak: Hold hand up to your ear holding out pinking and thumb like a pretend phone and say “y”.
z – Zeke the Zebra: Holds hands up to the side of your face as if going to sleep and say “z”.