St Aiden's Homeschool – Our Other Blog

August 13, 2009

Phonological Awareness in Early Learners #homeschool

Why does phonological awareness precede phonics?

Children need to first develop a strong listening awareness of the sounds in words.  They need to be able to:

  • hear rhyming words
  • hear the different individual sounds in words
  • blend individual sounds into words
  • play with sounds in words  [If I take away the “K” sound in cat, what word will be left?  If I add the “b” sound, what new word will I have?]

Children should also name and recognize the sounds of letters in the alphabet.

Activities to help young children to develop phonological awareness

  • Read nursery rhymes.  Ask children to guess the next rhyming word.
  • Sing and make up silly songs such as “K..K..K..K..K..K ..Katie give me your answer.…..
  • Play a version of Simon Says;  “Simon says to take as many giant steps as the sounds in  flat.”   (...f……l….a…t)
  • Group pictures by the number of sounds in their names.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt for objects whose names have 3 sounds etc.
  • While riding in a car, play guessing games.  “I am thinking of a word that sounds like this when you pull it a part……...t….r….ai…..n. Can you guess what I said?
  • Play a version of pig Latin.  “Katie, if I dropped the k (say sound) from your name, what would it be?  [answer:  atie].  What if we added a “t” (say sound) to you name, what would it be now?  [answer:  Tatie]

What is phonics

Phonics is learning what sound individual letters make and then blending those sounds into words. The more quickly students can recognize and blend these sounds,  the more fluent readers they become.

Note: Students may have good phonic skills and still not be good readers.   To be a good reader students must use both phonic/ word attack strategies and comprehension

What are the consonants?

b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q (qu), r, s, t, v, w, x, z, (sometimes y)

Strategies to help your child learn the consonants

  • Have child draw lower case letters on large newspaper.
  • Have a product search when grocery shopping  [What can we buy that makes a “p–give sound”?]
  • Find pictures in colouring books that begin with the same sound.  Write the letter that makes that sound next to the picture.
  • Using, a narrow strip of shelf paper, have child glue/tape words from newspaper and magazines that have the letter_____ in it.
  • Make up silly tongue twisters using a consonant sound.

What are vowels ?

Vowels are the letters that glue the consonant sounds together in a word.
In English, you cannot have a word without a vowel.  Each vowel has two sounds:  long and short.  Vowels also combine with other vowels to make special sounds.

Vowels: a, e, i, o, u, y

Vowels are difficult for children to learn.  Some short vowel sounds are very similar and children have difficulty hearing the difference.  [Spelling is often more difficult for these children.]
Vowel Tips:

Children remember short vowel sounds more easily if they have a key word and a gesture to help recall the sounds.  Needham children learn the following cues for the short vowel sounds:

      • a Key word:  apple gesture of pulling apple from mouth
      • i Key word:  itch gesture of scratching an itchy nose
      • o Key word:  octopus gesture of tracing the letter o around lips
        when saying the letter o
      • u Key word:   up gesture of moving hand up or  pushing an                                                                                umbrella up to open it
      • e Key word:  Ed gesture of pulling each corner of the mouth as child says “eh”

Note:  Students should know the short vowel sounds by the end of grade one.

Credit Source & Thanks : Reading Together


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