Teacher Toolbox
Learning Strategies - Reading

words And syllables

The awareness and the skills to recognize and to manipulate the sounds in spoken words are important elements in the early elementary level when learning to read.  This is called phonological awareness.

Young children who are not aware of the individual sounds in spoken words often exhibit difficulties linking the sounds to the print to decode words using phonics when they begin to read. With direct instruction, children can learn to analyze the sounds within spoken words.

Training of sound awareness needs to begin with words in sentences and with syllables. This introduces the sound boundaries of words.

Words & Syllables Activities
  • Count the words heard in sentence.  Have the students use different colored blocks, chips, or pieces of felt to show how many words they hear.
  • Practice counting the syllables heard in a word.  Say words and have the children clap or snap the number of syllables they hear in words.
  • Play "Which word is longer?" Present the children with two words, said one at a time without a visual.  Ask the children to repeat the words, and then have them tell which word sounds longer. 
  • Play rhyming games, such as "I spy a word that rhymes with 'top'."  Have the children generate words or find other words in the classroom that rhyme with top.
  • Read poetry to children
  • Tell familiar rhymes or stories but change the words or leave out words and see if the children can replace the missing words.