Phonological Awareness Strategies and Activities
Grand Canyon University: SPD 560
Phonemic awareness is an important skill for any child who is learning to read, write, or for a child who struggles with reading. There are many different strategies that can help children hear, listen, and understand how sounds make words by putting the sounds together. “Recent longitudinal studies on reading have demonstrated that the acquisition of phonemic awareness is highly predictive of success in learning to read, and to decode in particular. If children understand that words can be divided into individual phonemes and that phonemes can be blended into words, they are able to use letter-sound knowledge to read and build words” (Wise, 2016).
For young readers, using a poem or a rhyme such as ‘Row, Row, Row, your Boat’, and switching out the sounds for Row to Low or Bow, can help strengthen phonemic awareness. Children can follow along and take turns switching out the sound, this can be done with many different rhymes. In the classroom during word work time, students can sit on the carpet and chop words as they say the words and then put the word together. For example, c/a/t, using chopping motion for each phoneme students will then clap their hands after each and say they word cat. This would be repeated with many different words and can be done with words that have blends, such as the word sleep, sl/e/e/p, sleep. This can also be done the other way around, where students here the word and then have to use their hand motions to take away the phoneme sounds. Children will hear the word cat and then with their hands, they take the c and make the c sound and remove it, and then a, and then the t. Children who struggle with speech strengthen their speaking skills by saying each individual sound as well. Another activity is having students sit in a circle. The teacher will say a student’s name without saying the beginning sound and the students have to identify what sound and letter is missing. As students become more familiar with beginning sounds then they can do a partner activity; which students using a piece of paper will go around the room and find labeled note cards with ending sounds and write those down and then as partners have to add the beginning sound to the end of the word. Content is not the only way to implement learning phonemic awareness, curriculum design is important especially when teaching students with diverse needs and exceptionalities. “From research, we are able to deduce principles for effectively designing phonological awareness instruction. These design principles apply for all students but are particularly important for students who respond poorly to instruction” (Chard, 1998). It is imperative to model each activity after explaining the activity, use objects to represent sounds (blocks, rocks, and dice). Using these examples, in the above activities will help those who need more instruction when doing the activities. Lastly, there are many different activities within this program to help children at all levels of learning. Using magnets during guided reading when students come to tricky words will help them break words apart and put words back together. When reading you come across a tricky word, stop and put the magnets on the board, and break it apart together. All of these activities will help guide students through the areas they struggle in and strengthen their phonemic awareness.
Worksheet for CVC words. Say the picture and listen to each sound and write the missing sound.
|__O X||C A___||D __ G||J E___||P___G|
|___ E ____||B U____||S U ___||___ U B||V__ N|
|K I ___||L___ D||M _ X||____ E B||H E___|
|J A ___||___ O T||R ___ G||T__ P||Z ___ P|
“The inability to sound out words can be attributed to phonological processing difficulties” (Pressley, 1998). Arturo and Diana are currently reading below grade level. They both do a great job with communication; however, their oral development, written expression and the use of phonics to decode words is very low. It is important to incorporate a strategy to help strengthen the phonics skills. The worksheet created requires Arturo and Diana to verbally say what they think the word is in the picture. They will sound out each letter and then write the word on the line. In order for both individuals to become phonemically aware, they first need to be able to verbally identify each phoneme in a CVC word. After completing a worksheet they can use magnets to break each individual phoneme apart and put them back together. “When most children initially encounter a printed word, they go through a process of sequentially decoding the word by attempting to make letter-sound conversions. Phonological recoding occurs as children check to see if the word they made matches a word that has been stored in their memories”(Daneman, 1991). The activity provided will help both students strengthen their decoding skills, writing skills, and oral development as they say, decode each individual phoneme and then write the word. Arturo and Diana need to become automatic at recognizing words to help them gain meaning of text as they become better readers and writers. The activities with practice will ensure that both students make gains in these areas of their academics.
Chard, D. & Dickson, S. (2017). Phonological Awareness: Instructional and Assessment Guidelines. Retrieved from www.ldonline.org/article/6254/
Daneman, M. (1991). Individual differences in reading skills. Handbook of reading research v. 11.
Pressley, M. (1998). Reading instruction that works: The case for balanced teaching. New York: Guilford.
Wise, R. (2016). 5 Research-Based Strategies for Teaching Phonemic Awareness: An Early Reading Skill. Retrieved from www.educationandbehavior.com/how-to-teach-phonemic-awareness-to-kindergarteners/
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