Teach Phonological Awareness

Read poetry and stories with rhyme or alliteration (same beginning sound)

Clap syllables in names or words.

Read Alphabet books. Most libraries have a good selection.

Ask your child to say the beginning or ending sound of a word.

Make it fun. Say the wrong beginning or ending sound of a word when talking. You will be corrected usually with a laugh.

Play with magnetic letters. Use letter name and letter sound. Match uppercase and lowercase letters. Make words, mix up, and put back together like a puzzle. Try starting with two and three letter words. This will teach your child to segment and blend sounds in words. (cat, dog, mom, dad, go, no, so, he, me, we, she) Sometimes let your child choose the words to make. Try to take away letters (star-tar, cart-car), add letters (star-start, park-spark), substitute beginning, middle, or ending letters (star-far, hit-hat, hit-him).

Practice with short and long vowel sounds. One way is to show the letter and point and practice short and long sounds. Test each other. You say a sound and have your child point to the matching letter. Then have your child say a sound and you point to the matching letter. Make sure your child can hear and say the sounds.

Change vowel sounds orally. The spellings may confuse a child. : Change short vowel sounds to make new words. (hit, hat, hot) (get, got) (fun, fin) (run, ran) Change short vowel sounds to long vowel sounds. (bought, boat) (got, goat) (Tim, time) (win, whine) (fit, fight) (red, read) (Ben, bean) (wet, wheat) (rack, rake) (cap, cape) (ton, tune) (luck, Luke)

Try some easy games to help a child hear and separate the individual sounds in words. An individual sound in a word is called a phoneme. Teaching a child to hear and separate individual sounds is called phonemic awareness.

Reading Rockets has a number of articles about phonological awareness to check out for futher research.

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