Meet Bob, the Sound Munching Man

So readers...have you met Bob?  You haven't?  Well, I'm Carla from Comprehension Connection, and I thought I'd introduce you to one guy you need to invite into your classroom, and I sure do not want you to miss an opportunity like this!  Bob is one polite guy who just loves to listen quietly. He never has a mean thing to say, and he's easy to please.  He's nice looking, and guess what? He doesn't eat much either.  His only requirement is that kids feed him letters and sounds to keep his belly full.

Photo of male side-Decorate one side of a small trash can (from Dollar Tree) to look like an old man, the other side to look like an old lady.  Children feed them magnetic letters, word cards, etc.  (Read 'Dr. Jean and Friends' Blog for more ideas.) Bob has quite a few fashionable looks.  Here he is visiting from Pinterest (Dr. Jean) in a tuxedo ready for the class party. 

Sound Muncher:  Put pictures/flashcards inside when teaching a new letter, for the kids to pull out. Sometimes, I put 3D letters into him and the kids have to put their hands in and guess what letter they can feel. Other times, we "feed" him pictures of words beginning with a particular letter. He has so many uses!  Here is Bob on Crazy Hair Day in Sunflower Lily's classroom.  He is such a popular guy. If you think his hair is funny, you should have seen the boys and girls in this classroom. 
word muncher...helps with letter sounds/phonics
In this picture, Bob (from Marcia's Lesson Links) definitely look distinguished, but his mustache is thinning. (Sh!)  At least the sound cards can get in his mouth easily!

As you can see, Bob has lots of variety, and he is very easy to make.  All you need is a plastic trashcan from the Dollar Tree, a glue gun, a variety of crafting materials such as felt, pom-poms, buttons, or whatever fits the look you like. Simply glue on the body parts, use a Sharpie pen to add details, and Bam!  You have a Sound Munchin' Man.

So just what does Bob do?  Well, as I mentioned, Bob is a Sound Munching Man, and nothing makes him happier than to be fed sounds that children know.  Bob is choosy though.  If sounds are shaky, they are left out for more practice.  

Word Study Cards for Push It Say It and Making WordsIf you want to use Bob during your guided reading time, here are a few suggestions of how:

First of all, print these letter and phoneme cards on the recommended colored paper.  The colors help children identify spelling patterns when making words.  Once printed, laminate before cutting, and store them in a small tackle box for easy access and organization during guided reading.

Next, flash the sound cards to the students.  Those that are correct go in Bob's mouth.  Those that are incorrect are set aside.  

Once you've completed the stack, you are ready to empty Bob's belly.  You pull them out one at a time without students seeing, give students a word containing the phoneme, and have them write all the possible ways the word can be spelled on a dry erase board.  Once students finish, you ask them to circle the one they've seen in print.  If correct, students earn a point.  If no one is correct, the sound goes back to Bob.  

To practice the remaining sounds, teachers can use the first part of the file to model various word families and spelling patterns.  When we do this part of the intervention, I often use nonsense words and have students sort real versus nonsense.  

Another option for kindergarten is to review alphabet letters and sounds.  You can use picture cards, letter cards, or even small objects if you like.  

The whole lesson goes at a quick pace, and works beautifully if a student needs intervention with decoding or a review of sounds previously taught.  

If you don't like Bob, you may prefer these cute critters too.  
Zippy the sound muncher

"Monster" out of old tissue box - could be fun to "feed" it?

Remember, all the supplies you need are at the Dollar Tree.  On Friday, I'll be back to share a few Word Study DIY activities you can make from Dollar Tree goodies.  Until then, have a fantastic week.


  1. Great post, thank you for sharing! :)

  2. This is a great idea! I love it and so will my kiddos. I haven't been this excited in an idea for quite a while! Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Well, alright! They are super easy to make, and I use it quite a bit.

  3. I am going to figure out how to make cowboy and a cowgirl sound munching machines! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh what a great idea! You might hot glue a miniature cowboy hat to the lid?? I'm not sure beyond that. Take a picture if you do!

  4. Great post!! I work a lot on phonological awareness at the beginning of the year with my first graders. I love the idea. I wonder if there could be two...Bob and Bobbette? And we could sort pictures by their sounds? I don't know...just thinking :)
    Curious Firsties

    1. Bob and Roberta! :-) Great idea. Dollar Tree has flip trashcans too. :-)