- Phonological Awareness
Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and identify the different sounds in words. With this skill, children learn that they can create new words by changing and manipulating sounds. They also learn how to take words apart and put them back together again. Phonological awareness also enables a child to grasp the concept that oral language can be broken down in many different ways, including sentences into words, words into syllables, and syllables into individual sounds.
The awareness of sounds and how they relate to words gives children an understanding of the internal structure of our language, which helps them with decoding and building words as they learn to read. Phonological awareness is also a good foundation for learning phonics, word analysis, and spelling. Research shows that children who learn phonological awareness before kindergarten demonstrate the greatest success with learning to read.
Fun little rhyming activities, word segmenting and picture card games, clapping out syllables, and playing “silly sentences” to practice letter sounds are highly effective strategies for teaching phonological awareness. Our All About Reading Pre-reading program incorporates all of these activities and more—but we make it extra fun and memorable for your children by having our zebra puppet, Ziggy, participate right along with them!
If Ziggy makes a mistake, your children can correct him; if Ziggy needs help with a word, your children can provide it. The use of a puppet not only engages the imagination of your children in the learning process, but also gives them an eagerness to learn so they can “help Ziggy,” which in turn builds their confidence in their own ability. And the best part is that your child will love the experience!