IT’S SUMMER!! (Or, depending where you’re at and how you define “summer”, it will be soon.) That means a break from learning for all the children in your care for a few months, right? Of course, not!! Children are learning all the time. Here, guest blogger Kris Corrigan shares some ideas for including phonological awareness throughout your day.
In a preschool class I recently visited, the group music time turned into laughter and giggles as their teacher substituted the name of each body part in the familiar “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” with a different beginning sound /b/. “Bed, Boulders, Bees, and Boes” was a hit and requested again and again. Through repeated exposure to fun, no pressure language play activities like the mentioned above, their teacher is helping them develop phonological awareness.
Phonological awareness, or the awareness of individual sounds or groups of sounds within words, starts in preschool with activities that help children become aware of syllables in words, recognize words that rhyme, or through alliteration activities (repeating the same beginning sound) as the teacher did by substituting the beginning sound for the letter /b/ in the song. Research shows that phonological awareness is a key predictor of later success in reading and spelling.
The good news is this is not just one more thing you need to squeeze into your already busy day. In fact, many of these activities require no additional preparation and can be done in as little as five to ten minutes while children transition from one activity to another. Here is one that can be used when children are waiting in line to wash hands:
- Bippity Bobbity Bumble Bee
The teacher begins the chant and walks to a child in line:
Bippity Boppity Bumble Bee
Won’t you same your name for me?
Child says her name.
The class and teacher say her name while clapping once for each syllable in the child’s name.
Bibbity Boppity Bumble Bee, thank you for saying your name for me.
Continue the chant by repeating with another student and his or her name.
Here are a few resources if you would like more information about phonological awareness and fun activities you can do with your children:
Yopp, Hallie K. & Yopp, Ruth E., (2009) Phonological Awareness is Child’s Play! Beyond the Journal Young Children on the Web, NAEYC.
Bennett-Armistead, V. Susan, Duke, Nell K. & Moses, Annie M. (2005) Literacy and the Youngest Learner, New York: Scholastic
Yopp, Halie K. & Yopp, Ruth E. (2011) Purposeful Play for Early Childhood Phonological Awareness, Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education
If you already are incorporating these activities into your daily activities and routines through games literature and songs, we would like to hear your ideas at http://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/childcare/phonological-awareness/.