Phonological Awareness includes hearing and playing with the smaller sounds of words and recognizing that words are made up of a number of different sounds.
Why is it important?
Because kids who can hear how words come apart will be more successful at "sounding out" words when they start to read. All the skills are important, but researchers have found that if kids are struggling to learn to read, this is usually the piece they are missing.
Fortunately, this is one of the easiest skills to "work on" in storytime, because it's all about rhymes and sounds.
What Can You Do?
- Sing, sing, sing! Or if you absolutely can't sing, chant, or play music CDs; most songs break words up into one syllable per note.
- Recite nursery rhymes and other rhymes or poems; rhymes depend upon ending sounds.
- Play with tongue twisters.
- Pick a sound for the day, and notice it at the beginning of words and at the end of words.
- Sing clapping songs (like B-I-N-G-0).
- Introduce different sounds to make and hear, for example: farm animal sounds that are part of the story, so kids can identify the animal and become a part of the story.
What do you like to do to include this skill in storytime? What tips do you like to give to the grownups?