Learning through Target Practice

Keep reading instruction on target!

bow and arrow
I’m learning- watch out! Photo:depositphotos

At RRLS, phonological awareness skills are incorporated into early literacy lessons daily.  In our ‘Target Practice’ game, we rehearse blending different onsets and rimes to make real and nonsense words.  Onsets and rimes are technical terms to describe the parts of a syllable.  The onset is the initial sound(s) up to the vowel, a consonant or a consonant blend.  The rime is the vowel and the remaining sounds in the syllable.  For example, in the word slide, “sl” is the onset and “ide” is the rime.

Let’s look at how we practise blending in a hands-on way, using ‘Target Practice’.

bow throwing ball

Before beginning, post a target on a wall, using cardstock or even sticky notes.  Really, any object can represent a target, such as a labeled bin/basket or stuffed toys.  Then, label the target with a focus rime.  For more developed readers, you can include multiple targets with different rimes.

flipping tiles  In a separate container, place letter tiles with initial sounds (onset). Next, have the children take turns pulling out an onset.  They have to blend the onset with the rime to create a real word.  Children then throw the ball/bean bag at the target, or rime, saying the real word. If no real word can be made, the tile is discarded.

To extend the idea, children can write the word and a draw picture to match it.

onset and rimes
This student used an iPad to record his words as he racked up his target points!

Fostering phonological awareness is something we’re passionate about at RRLS.  Through our current INDIEGOGO crowdfunding campaign, we’re aiming to raise enough funds to produce and distribute our new ‘Alpha-Maniacs’ storybook series, develop multi-media platforms that focus on phonological awareness, and celebrate their production by sharing them for free with 1 million children.  You can find more information here on the books and campaign.  For further details about RRLS and all our academic support programs we offer, please visit http://www.ruthrumack.com .

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