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Emergent Reading - Phonological Awareness

Key Instructional Strategies for Phonological Awareness

How to Teach Phonological Awareness
There are many activities that you can implement in a preschool classroom that will promote the development of children’s phonological awareness. Calling children’s attention to the way language sounds can happen in many different ways.

Choosing the most important skills on which to focus is critical. It’s best to begin with skills that children can master quickly and that call their attention to the way words sound, separate from their meanings. These skills, such as combining words to make a compound word, combining syllables to form a word, and combining an onset and a rime to form a word are the easiest skills for most young children to acquire. The onset of a word is the first consonant of a word. The rime is the vowel and what follows the vowel in that syllable. In the word bike, the onset is “b” and the rime is “ike”. When you rhyme words, the rime of the word is usually included.

Later in the school year, as children master these easier skills, it is important to work on more rhyming activities, recognizing and matching the beginning sounds in words, and blending sounds to form short words.

It is important to plan fun and engaging activities that will, at the same time, ensure that children acquire these key skills. In general, 10 to 20 minutes of phonological awareness instruction per day is sufficient. It’s best to divide this time among many short activities than to expect children to stay engaged for a 20-minute lesson. To ensure that children have the opportunity to practice skills and that the teacher can monitor each child’s progress, it’s a good idea to do much of this teaching with small groups of children.

If, by the end of the school year, your students can do the following, they will have a strong foundation for learning to decode words in kindergarten:

  1. Combine words to make compound words and delete a word from a compound word.
  2. Combine syllables to make words and delete a syllable from a word.
  3. Combine word parts (onset and rime) to form a familiar one-syllable word.

Correct Pronunciation of Sounds
One of the most important factors in teaching letter sounds is the way the teacher pronounces each sound. We teach children letter sounds so that they can use those sounds to read words. When children are reading words, they must be able to blend the sounds together to form words.

Checking for understanding

Checking for Understanding

  • What are some of the phonological awareness activities that you would use with children at the beginning of the year?
    Check Your Answer

  • What are some phonological awareness activities that you would use with children at the middle and end of the year?
    Check Your Answer
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