Posted on Monday, July 17, 2017 by Dianne 2 minutes
…When a child has the chance to hear one good story after another, day after day, he is being taught to read. – James Hymes
Welcome back to Beyond Therapy, HeadStart for Life’s blog!
Today’s blog revisits the field of beginning reading and early childhood education. As we prepare our young ones to become lifelong learners, we have learnt previously the importance of a positive attitude towards language, literature and literacy. From being acquainted with books towards having a genuine love for reading either for learning or for pleasure, children’s reading development is also equally dependent on the foundation of other domains of literacy such as alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness.
With some level of alphabet knowledge, children are able to recognise, name and sound out all the uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet. However, in today’s post, we will focus more on the starter activities in teaching awareness to the sensitivity of the sound of language. These activities involve working with detecting rhymes, syllable detection, detecting the onset and the rime.
In teaching the sequence of phonological awareness instruction through a study of both theory and practical experiences, below are some of the learning experiences and teaching strategies that teachers or parents might find useful to implement at home or school.
Objective: to develop the sensitivity to sounds, particularly recognizing words that end the same way
Rhyming Posters/Chart – write a song on posters and sing to the tune of familiar nursery rhymes; place the one-syllable rhyming words/pictures in the appropriate place in the song; track the print as you print
Rhyming Picture Cards – show picture cards of objects/pictures and have children identify if they rhyme
“I-Spy” Game – choose an object that children see in the classroom/room and think of a word that rhymes with it
Objective: To help read words more accurately, fluently as well as spell words correctly
Picture Sorting – sort the pictures and group them according to the its number of syllables
Name Game – children’s name written on the paper and asked to group according to the similar number of syllables
Counting – group pictures/words according to the number of syllables using blocks/claps
Objective: To learn about word families and encourage reading and spelling acquisition
Roll the Dice – roll the dice wherein one die is for the onset (e.g. c is the onset in the word cat) and another die for the rime (e.g. at is the rimes in the word cat) ; ask the child to retrieve the picture when you put or blend these sounds together
Making words– children choose the correct onset and rime prompted by pictures using letter magnets,spinning wheels, paper cups, flashcards, etc.
Objective: To know how to manipulate the individual letter sounds in words
Guess the sound – show the picture of words that begin with the same sound; have them to say the words and then guess what sound they start with by retrieving the letter card
Travel game – pretend to go on a trip and have the child suggest objects to put in the suitcase that starts with the secret sound; if it does not, tell the child that the object cannot go
There are several more activities to develop phonemic awareness using the components of phonological awareness, such as asking students to identify, match, isolate, segment, or blend initial, medial and final sounds. In my next post, join us again as we will share more about how to support phonemic awareness development among budding readers.
The ultimate goal is to help young learners understand the relationships between letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language. However, a carefully planned phonemic instruction might also make children to deliberately tune off. The list above is intended to be illustrative, not exhaustive wherein children will respond differently along the development in early reading.
Therefore, it is important to examine what truly drives children to engage in literacy activities with enthusiasm. Our team at HeadStart for Life would love to hear some of the variety of methods and approaches that is most effective to your child. Feel free to share your ideas below in our comment box!
Agustin, E. R. (Writer). (n.d.). Demo Teaching: Phonemic Awareness. Live performance in Quezon City, Philippines.
Scholastic (2016). Assessment and enrichment program: Process tools [Handouts].
Pado, F.E. (2014). Teaching preschoolers and early graders in the context of the K to 12 curriculum [Handouts], Retrieved from UP College of Education.