Hand Gestures to Make Phonemes Memorable

Phoneme Hand Gestures (all objects mentioned are imagined, not real)

/A/ Fonzie’s thumbs up

/a/ Rub beside eyes with fists

/b/ Pat chest for heartbeat; beat drum

/k/ (the phoneme for letter c) Squeeze nutcracker; swing golf club; pull down index finger to click camera

/d/ Knock on door; dribble basketball

/E/ Raise open hands for shriek

/e/ Push elbows back as a rocking chair; open creaky door; cup hand behind ear

/f/ Claw like angry cat; brush clothing with clothes brush; swirl open hand for electric fan; pump the trigger on a spray bottle

/g/ Clap hand vertically for croaking frog, raise glass for gulping milk

/h/ Pump arms for panting runner; breathe on cupped hand; nod head like tired dog

/I/ Raise hand in a salute as in “Aye, aye, Captain”; point thumb toward yourself

/i/ Hold out or shake separated sticky fingers

/j/ Scrub with scrub brush; file with wood rasp; twirl jump rope

/l/ Raise light saber; lick a lollypop

/m/ Rub tummy; zip up lips

/n/ Drive motorboat

/O/ Nod for “Oh, I see”

/o/ Press thumb for tongue depressor; wipe forehead with back of hand; cover mouth for yawn

/p/ Pop fingers open for popcorn; touch fingers on open hand for water drip;  skip stone ; pop soap bubbles

/kw/ (qu) Type with two fingers

/r/ Start a chain saw; clench teeth for growling dog

/s/ Puncture a flat tire; spray hairspray; swirl frying pan for sizzling bacon; undulate hand from side to side for snake; strike down with two fingers for fangs of snake

/t/ Make a pendulum finger for ticking clock; tap watch; listen to watch

/U/ Point like Uncle Sam:  “We want you.”

/u/ Pretend to punch your stomach; pull chain on foghorn

/v/ Pretend to shave with electric shaver; extend arms for airplane; push vacuum cleaner

/w/ Twirl a lariat; cast a fly rod; move from side to side like washing machine

/ks/ (x) Open a soda can; squeeze a grease gun

/y/ Slap the side of your leg to spur a horse, “Yah.”

/z/ Zip up a coat

/OO/ Raise hands with fingers pointed down like ghost

/oo/ Curl arms to lift weights; pull fists down for chin-up

/oi/ Open squeaky gate

/ou/ Squeeze upper arm after inoculation

/aw/ Flap wings like crow

/ar/ Shift grinding gears

/sh/ Finger to lips for “Be quiet”; wave hose to water the lawn

/hw/ (wh) Blow out candle held in hand

/ch/ Revolve fists alternately for wheels of steam train; steer antique car

/th/ Peel tape

/ng/ Strike a gong with two hands; pluck string bass

/zh/ Saw a board

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