Working with Sounds (Phonological Awareness)
Why This is Important
Phonological awareness primes children’s ears for working with words and sounds. It includes identifying and saying rhymes, clapping out the number of syllables in a word, and recognizing words with the same initial sounds, like mom and make.
Goals for Strong Readers
- Isolate, identify, and categorize sounds in the beginning, middle and end of a word
- Blend and break up sounds
- Manipulate, (delete, add, and substitute) sounds
Explain to your child that rhymes are words that have the same middle and ending sound. Prompt your child to create rhymes. Example: Ask, Can you tell me a word that rhymes with cake? (bake, rake, lake)
More Activities and Games
- Using magazines, newspapers, and store advertisements, have your child look for pictures of objects that rhyme.
- Have your child cut out the pictures and paste them onto paper to create rhyme collages.
- Think of an animal.
- Identify the number of syllables in that animal’s name.
- Brainstorm types of food with the same number of syllables that you could feed to that animal.
- Gather some small items such as pennies, pom-poms, or different colored blocks.
- Think of a simple word such as chat and push one item toward your child while making each sound in the word: ch – a – t
- Ask your child to put the sounds together and tell you what word you just said. Example: What word am I saying, ch – a – t? Answer: chat
- After your child can successfully blend the sounds together, ask your child to break words apart into their separate sound. Example: What are the sounds in chat? Answer: ch – a – t
- Sample words for this activity: chat, mit, truck, shut, cat, met