Research has proven that phonological awareness, phonemic awareness and phonics play a crucial role in children learning to read but the terms can be confusing. The video below is an excellent source of information in explaining the differences.
In this blog post I wanted to address a few mini-lessons that I have implemented that target these early reading skills.
One of the learning outcomes in many Pre-K programs is for students to print letters they hear at the beginning of words. However, many of my students arrive not being able to distinguish the difference in hearing these sounds. Many do not understand the concept of what a beginning sound is. During the first weeks of school, I focus on phonemic awareness activities that will assist them in hearing sounds within words prior to introducing any alphabet letters representing these sounds. I focus on the initial sound first.
1) I have a puppet that I named “Slow Speaking Sam”. Sam says the sounds within words (usually one syllable words) very slowly and the students must guess the word said. If they can’t guess the word, it is said faster.
2) I have three students come forward and assign each of them a phoneme sound they are to represent. We blend the sounds together to say the word that represents these sounds. We clap or stretch the sounds using an elastic band. We also discuss the first, middle and last sound heard. This activity has been invaluable in terms of my students understanding the concept of what a beginning sound is. When the majority of my students are able to hear beginning sounds; I begin introducing the letters of the alphabet that represent these sounds (phonics). We extend this activity to deleting and adding sounds. Using the students to represent sounds assists visual learners with this skill devleopment.
1) I read plenty of rhyming books and have students complete the rhyming partner words.
2) As a dismissal activity, I will often say a word and they must tell me a rhyming partner (bear and hair).
3) This is a fun whole group Smart Board rhyming activity. I will project the dog outline (colored version) on my Smart Board for the students to circle the parts of the dog that associate with the rhyme. If you do not have a projectable white board, use the black and white version copied on paper.
I rhyme with “hear” I am thinking about the dog’s (ear)
I rhyme with “pail” I am thinking about the dog’s (tail)
I rhyme with “rose” I am thinking about the dog’s (nose)
I rhyme with “pie” I am thinking about the dog’s (eye)
I rhyme with “rung” I am thinking about the dog’s (tongue)
I rhyme with “straw” I am thinking about the dog’s (paw)
I rhyme with “purr” I am thinking of the dog’s (fur)
Some Rhyming Litearcy Center Games
Literacy Centers are time for my students to practice the skills I have taught during instruction time. Outlined below are two rhyming games that my students play at the Literacy Centers. As a member of the site, you will have access to more.
Spin a Rhyme
Playing partners take a turn spinning a top and must determine what rhyming picture partner matches the one where the top landed. The matching rhyming picture is marked off on the game board chart. The game continues until all the rhyming partners are found.
Roll A Rhyme Food Game
This game is found in the “Nutrition Theme”. Playing partners take a turn rolling a die and they must move their game player accordingly around the food game board. They must find the matching rhyming picture on the game board chart and mark this off (could use a bingo chip).
The books below, written by Margaret Atwood are good examples of ones that make use of alliteration.
1. Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut
2. Bashful Bob And Doleful Dorinda
Many of the emergent readers also make use of alliteration. The animated alphabet song video makes use of alliteration to introduce letters and their corresponding sounds.
I generally do not work on syllabication until my students have a good understanding of what a word is and how it is made up of different sounds (not to confuse them). We look at words within context of the emergent reader and discuss short and long words. I then introduce how longer words can be broken down into parts. We practice clapping, hopping and chanting their names and different words found within the emergent readers according to syllables heard. Example, we would look at one of the pages found within the reader “Exploring the Sea With Ollie Octopus” and discuss the number of parts or syllables we would hear in each of these words.
The “Alphabet Program” which is included in the Kinderplans membership package is a complete and effective phonics program. It teaches the alphabet letters and related sounds in a meaningful and systematic sequence. The emergent readers found in the link below are the ones used to teach early reading skills and alphabet letter sounds.
Phonics Literacy Centers
The Literacy Center activties are meant for the students to further practice what they have learned about letters and their related sounds. I have included two games (there are many more) that would be used for this purpose.
Once the students are introduced to specific sounds, they play games that allow them an opportunity to practice what they learned about these sounds. For example, the game displayed on the left was played after my students were introduced to the letter “Ll” and its corresponding sound. Playing partners take turns spinning the top, if they land on a picture that represents the letter “Ll” sound they must print it. The game continues until the printing chart is completed. This is a game that was played at the beginning of the year.
My students need continuous review of letters and their related sounds. In the members area you will find many alphabet review games, largely because this is what my students require. The game displayed on the right is one we will be playing this month. Students will be rolling a die and moving around the ocean floor accordingly. The must print the letter on the dotted lines sheet that represents the sound of the picture they landed on. The object of the game to have all the letters printed.
As a member of the site you will have access to 40 CVC picture cards which will allow you to create your own games. On the left you can view one game that can be played. Each student takes a turn drawing a word card and they must determine which picture represents that word card and place it on the picture board accordingly. For my more advanced students, they print the CVC words instead.
I hope you found some of these ideas helpful!