Pre-Literacy: Phonological Awareness

Phonological Awareness--meaning, an understanding of how sounds are organized and used in language--is fostered both overtly and subtly in education.

Overtly, speech pathologists (and other educators) use speech cues to help students recognize sound/speech patterns. I am fascinated by the patterns, and if you are, too, you can study these speech cue cards

Subtly, there are a world of silly songs and poems and stories that foster phonological awareness. Do you remember singing, "I like to ate, ate, ate, aples and baynaynays [...] eat, eat, eat, eeples and beneenees..." ("Silly Song" by Raffi)? It turns out that silliness had a secret mission.

What books help teach phonological awareness?

There are so many fantastic rhyming books! Baby A is far from making rhymes or recognizing sound cluster patterns, but she currently has an obsession with "Pop a Pop", otherwise known as Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss.

My sister is an avid reader and all-around intelligent person, so I trust her (and millions of others') childhood favorite wordsmith Shel Silverstein. And it's no secret I'm a huge Sandra Boynton fan.

But not all of Silverstein's or Boynton's or other excellent author's books rhyme, and many good books that don't rhyme are great for practicing phonological awareness. Read books that are charming, and curiosity will lead to learning.

Once a child knows how to read, it is still useful and fun to practice phonological awareness, and its cousin, spelling. I like the letter rocks pictured up top, and I've seen some with clusters like "ing".

Here's the rest of the Pre-Literacy series:
Narrative Skills

(To clarify, pre-literacy skills develop at different paces, and not necessarily in a particular sequence, for each person.)

P.S. letter rock games
P.P.S. St. Patrick's Day book + party ideas

Have a lucky weekend!

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