Earlier in the week, we covered the importance of phonological awareness in reading (http://wp.me/pT6KW-56). Once children have good phonological awareness, they are more likely to become successful readers and spellers. How can you help develop this ability? Here are some fun and easy games that you can play at home or in the classroom to practice phonological awareness:
- Rhyming Time: Rhyming is an important component of phonological awareness. Children not only identify that different words sound the same at the end, but they also start to get an idea of onset sounds and how to change them. You can see how many words you and your child can create that sound the same (they can be made-up words), or play “I spy something that rhymes with…”.
- Mystery Words. Practicing “the art” of blending letters together to form words is an essential skill for children to learn. Once children can blend words, they will be able to sound out words and manipulate phonemes in words. You can say that you have a “mystery word” (for example “dog”) and the children must act like detectives to solve the “mystery word”. Then, you can sound out the word slowly, (i.e. d…o…g) and see if the children can blend the sounds together to make the word.
- Clap it Out. The opposite of blending is segmenting, which is when someone can separate a word into individual sounds. The ability to segment a word helps children spell out words and also manipulate different sounds in a word. You can say a word and ask a child to clap out each individual sound. Make it fun by taking turns to say words and naming objects that are around the room!