Learning letter sounds is important for both reading and writing, but some letters of the alphabet are trickier than others and make not one but TWO sounds! G is one of those letters. These free little reader books and rhyme help kids learn more about soft G sounds (as in giraffe) and hard G sounds (as in goat).
We downloaded the Hard and Soft G printable (below). Then we printed off the color rhyme page, laminated it, and attached it to the front door of a cupboard where it could be clearly seen.
The children wanted to color their own books so we printed off black and white versions and the children folded them carefully into books. They just needed a little help to cut one slit in the middle of the paper. (The instructions included in the download show you the step-by-step of assembly.)
Learning the Hard and Soft G
To start off, we read a children’s book together that contained soft and hard G’s and discussed the two sounds. Then we learned the rhyme and looked through some favorite books together to see if the rhyme was true, and how often it was not.
In front of y or i or e, g is soft like energy.*
In front of a or u or o (or other letters, so you know), G is hard like grin and go.
* There are exceptions to the soft rule, for example: gecko, gift, girl, give, gnome, tiger …
After finding the word ‘girl’ a few times the children realized that the rhyme was more like a general guide rather than a hard and fast rule. So when they found a G followed by Y, I or E, they’d sound the word out both ways to decide which one sounded correct as a double check!
Each child then colored either the soft G or hard G little book and read through it to check the words. They used different colored pencils to circle the letter following each G and referred back to the poster to double check whether it fit into the rules of the rhyme correctly. They then swapped books so they’d read through both.
The following day they colored the third little book containing hard and soft G sentences and used highlighters to mark the letter after each G before they read through the book. It was a great way to help children become aware of how letters work together to influence sounds.
After reading through the book they went through it again underlining all the words with hard G’s and circling all the words with soft G’s. They also paired up and read through all the books again with their reading partner.
Grab Your Download
Ready to practice hard and soft G too?! Click the blue download button below to grab your little reader books and poster and then hop over and grab our FREE beginning sound board games!