RUE Episode 35: Cat Phonics

Our cat Pumpkin.

Cat Phonics?

Well, the word “cat” contains the “short A” sound, and I thought I’d help our English learners with some very basic reading skills.  After all, I often urge viewers to read books about our theme, and I sometimes assign reading for homework.  This first episode about cats focuses on a group in Southern Oregon called Committed Alliance to Strays (C.A.T.S.).

Language Objectives

Recognize the phonetic basis for written English.

Recall the vowels in English: A E I O U and sometimes Y.

Distinguish between vowels and consonants.

Given visual clues and prior knowledge, use Listening Comprehension Skills to identify the main ideas in video clips about cats.

Academic Content Objectives

Animal Science: Explain the concept of what a stray animal is.

List the habitat needs that may not be met for a stray animal.

Social Studies: Explain how citizens can organize to provide a solution for a community problem (strays).

Explain the role of volunteers in addressing a community problem.

Give examples of the work that volunteers provide for the organization C.A.T.S.

Content Details

English learners become aware of how communities ban together to humanely address problems.  Stray cats are a problem in Jackson County, and this organization carefully addresses the challenges to help stray cats and find them good homes.  In this episode, we hear from a staff member and a board member, who share with us the work they do to accomplish their mission.

Watching Episode 35

Watch Episode 35 by clicking here.

Viewing by Segment

Watch the first segment of this episode by clicking here.

See Segment 2 here

Segment 3

Videos Used in Episode 35

The first video is about Committed Alliance To Stays in Medford. Click here to see the video on You can also download the video fro. this site.

To watch the same video on You Tube, click on CATS 1 There may be an ad.

For the second video about cats on, click here.

To see the video on You Tube (it has closed Captioning) click on Cats 2

Episode Summary

Our interview with C.A.T.S. office manager Sandy Fowler and board member Marsha Foster brings us into the world of stray cats and what this organization does to rescue them and get them ready for adoption into good homes.  We learn a lot about the problem of stray cats, and how this program operates to serve their needs.  Watching the clips of the interview, viewers will see the passion and the caring they bring to their mission.  We also introduce some very basic phonics in this episode. That’s designed to help viewers strengthen their comprehension of English in written form and increase their knowledge of our theme about animals. That knowledge base will help future advancement in reading and listening comprehension, and provides the patterning that will help with speaking and writing.


Much of the video seen in this episode was recorded bt Gary Mark Roberts

Learning Materials Used

Click on a slide to enlarge.  Use back arrow to return to Episode 35 page.

Our cat Pumpkin. The three-letter word CAT has one vowel: the short A..
Ramping Up your English
English symbol/sound relationship
Stray Cats
The letter C has two sounds, depending on the following vowel.
Basic English Phonics
The short A sound is only one of 44 distinct sounds in English phonics.
Learning about animals
Get to know English vowels. They are A, E, I, O, and U. Sometimes Y is a vowel.
Better English
You can add many letters to the short word “at.” They all rhyme.
This website is great for learning English phonics in a fun, low-pressure way.
Committed Alliance To Strays (C.A.T.S.)


Get a simple book about cats. See how many words you can read and understand.

Next Episode

Thanks for watching Episode 35 of Ramping Up your English. I hope you have some knowledge now of English Phonics, especially the short A sound. I will only touch the very basic level of phonics in this program. For more on English phonics, I suggest Starfall. Here’s a link to their website. Click here.

Go to the Episode 36 page to learn more about cats.