Grade Levels: K-3

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 1-3, students use an online interactive game to practice sorting words according to hard g and soft g sounds.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify the hard g and soft g sounds in words.
  2. Sort words according to their hard and soft consonant sounds.
  3. Generate their own list of words with hard and soft consonant sounds.


  • Signs with 'soft g' and 'hard g' written on them
  • Computers with internet access
  • Index cards or scrap paper for students to create their own sorting game
  • Plastic baggies or envelopes to store students' games


This lesson plan uses a PBS Kids game called Sort It Out. Hosted by the infamous prankster Francine Caruthers, this game tasks players to sort out words based a specific phonics goal. For example, in the ‘hard and soft g’ version of the game, ‘huge' would be sorted into the ‘hard g’ column and ‘dig’ would go to ‘soft g’. There is also a hard and soft c and sound version of the game. To play, you simply click on a word in the word pool and drag it to the column in which it belongs.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Write 'soft g' and 'hard g' on opposite ends of your board, or hang signs with those terms on opposite ends of your classroom. Pair students up and pass out a word card to each set of partners.

  2. Talk about the difference between hard and soft consonant sounds, and have students practice making the sounds themselves.

  3. Invite students to read the word on their card with their partner, and then stand together underneath the soft g or hard g sign. Depending on the size of your class, you may want to have only a few sets of a partners do this at a time.

  4. As a class, read the word cards of the students standing under the soft g sign. Is the soft g sound present in all of them? Are there any words that don't belong? Repeat this process with the students standing under the hard g sign.

  5. Allow students to play the Sort It Out game with their partners.

  6. Afterward, invite students to create their own paper-based version of the Sort It Out Game. Students should continue to work in pairs to brainstorm soft g and hard g words, writing them on index cards or small pieces of paper. They will also need to make a card that reads 'soft g' and a card that reads 'hard g'.

  7. Check students' work, then distribute plastic baggies or envelopes for students to put their games in.

  8. Have students trade games with another set of partners and complete the sort.

Extension Activities:

Encourage students to listen for hard and soft g sounds as they read various texts. Students may want to add to their Sort It Out Game periodically to incorporate new words they learn. Allow students to play the games during center time, small group reading instruction, and other times during your school day as a review and reinforcement. You can also send the game home with your students so they can play with their families. Encourage students to visit the PBS Kids site at home and demonstrate what they've learned for family members.