This fun, simple phonics activity helps students learn the difference between hard and soft g. Simply grab the free phonics printables that includes both hard g and soft g words with pictures. Students will listen for the hard and soft g sound and clip the correct answer. This hard g soft g game is perfect for first grade students learning phonics to read and spell!
Hard and Soft G
Ask most little ones what sound the letter /g/ makes and most of them will make the sound we hear in the word gate. And that is correct. But… today we get to learn that there are times that the /g/ makes a different sound. The /g/ can also make the /j/ sound in certain circumstances.
What is a hard g sound? The hard g sound is when the g makes the sound we are most familiar with. When a /g/ is followed by the vowels /a/, /o/, or /u/ the letter /g/ makes the hard g sound.
- ga – game,
- go – go, got
- gu – guy
Typically, when the letter /g/ is followed by a consonant, the /g/ will make the hard g sound like in the word glad. Also, English words don’t end with the /j/ sound. So, if the word ends with a /g/ the /g/ will make the hard g sound. You can see this in words like dog and beg. But as with most English rules, there are some exceptions. Unfrotunelty the /g/ in gift, give, get and girl all make the hard g sound despite the fact that the vowel next to it isn’t an /a/, /o/, or /u/.
The soft g sound is when the letter /g/ makes the /j/ sound. You may have already guessed, but this happens when the g is followed by the letters /i/, /e/, and /y/.
- gi – ginger, giraffe, giant
- ge – general, gem, age
- gy – gym, energy
Hard g Soft g
These clip cards are designed to introduce this concept to young readers and isn’t necessarily about reading the words but recognizing the generalization of when to use the hard and soft g sound.First, have your little one read the word or say the name of the picture. Once the word is said correctly, ask, did the /g/ make the /g/ sound or the /j/ sound. You may need to repeat the word and put emphasis on the sound you want them to recognize.
Now, allow them to place a clip on the correct sound.
Finally, study the word. Have them tell you what they notice about where the letter g is. What vowel is it next to? Is it at the end of the word? Is there a consonant next to it?
Hard and soft g sound
As they tell you what they notice, reinforce this by stating the generalization again.
- “That’s right. The g is next to the vowel /a/ so it makes the hard sound.
- “I like how you noticed the g is at the end of the word. It makes the hard sound when it is at the end.
- “Great job. Yes, the /g/ is next to an /i/ so it makes the soft sound like /j/.
- “The word gift is an exception to the rule. It should make the /j/ sound, but it makes the /g/ sound instead.
After a few rounds of working through the hard and soft g clip cards, your little ones should have a better understanding of when to use the hard and soft g sounds.
Hard and soft g worksheets
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