This is the last in my series of describing the steps children take to achieve phonemic awareness. If you need to catch up, check these out in this order:
If these did not fit your young child, then this is the last stage of phonological awareness I will try to clarify for you:
Introducing letters and spellings
We’ve focused on getting your child to HEAR sounds, now we are going to focus on getting them to SEE sounds! Experts suggest that children should learn these consonants first (in this order)- s, m, d, p, t, n, g, b, r, f and then l, followed by the vowels in this order- a, o, I, e and e.
· Since you will be writing now, an extremely motivating tool for kids to use is shaving cream! I know, a little messy, but worth it. If you have a tray or flat object, cover it with shaving cream. Have your child practice making the letters with his/her fingers. Then, just erase using the palm of your hand. You can also use sand in a deeper container, markers, colored pencils, mini whiteboards, etc.
Mini and colorful journals also work well. They're fun and much less daunting than normal ones.
· A great place to start learning print is to relate the letters to your child. Introduce your child’s name and discuss the beginning letter’s sound. Once you’ve done this, you can try to find objects that make similar sounds, or words written that start with the same letter in books. Once you’ve done this, you can move onto the other letters in your child’s name. Remember to take this slowly. This basically seems like hieroglyphics to your child at this point in time! When you’ve introduced and practice one, keep reviewing it!
· These alphabet boxes are (again) great for identifying letter sounds. You can use your growing collection of baby wipe containers.
· Go through magazines or images on the computer and grab a scrap sheet of paper (the more colorful, the better). When you get to a picture, write down what it starts with for your child. Have your child try to copy your writing like this . If this is too easy, try writing down the whole word and see how many letters your child can point out and say.
· Play “I Spy” around your house. Grab a sheet of paper, or marker board. Find an object in your house and write down the letter with which it begins. See if your child can find the object! Now, limit the amount of objects to choose from and write down the last letter in an object’s name. See if your child can guess it (since this is harder, don’t use too many objects).
· When children seem to have a firm grasp of all the letters, start introducing more letters. For example, start with AT and add an S to the beginning (SAT) or an M (MAT), etc. Here are some words to try:
o AD- MAD, DAD, PAD, SAD, TAD
o SA- SAT, SAD, SAM, SAP
o MA- MAT, MAP, MAN, MAD
I hope these activities have helped! Now, back to the read-alouds. I will try to incorporate a lesson for each step of phonological awareness with each new book.
Happy reading :)