Phonics activities to do at home.
It can sometimes be difficult for parents to think of ideas to support their child in phonics. Below are some games that you can play at home. Our teachers have lots of other ideas, so if you need any inspiration, just ask them.
1.Listening to sequences of sounds
|This activity helps to develop the memory and attentional abilities for thinking about sequences of sounds and the language for discussing them.|
Objects that make interesting, distinctive sounds. Some examples follow:
|This activity helps children to develop their ability to identify differences between what they expect to hear and what they actually hear.|
Book of familiar stories or poems
Invite the children to sit down and close their eyes so that they can concentrate on what they will hear. Then read aloud a familiar story or poem to the children but, once in a while, by changing its words or wording, change its sense to nonsense. The children's challenge is to detect such changes whenever they occur. When they do, encourage them to explain what was wrong.
As shown in the following list, you can change any text in more or less subtle ways at a number of different levels. . Following are some examples of the "nonsense" that can be created within familiar poems and rhymes:
3. Clapping names
|This activity helps children to be introduced to the nature of syllables by leading them to clap and count the syllables in their own names.|
When you first introduce this activity, model it by using several names of different lengths. Pronounce the first name of one of the children in the syllable by syllable while clapping it out before inviting the children to say and clap the name along with you. After each name has been clapped, ask "How many syllables did you hear?"
Once children have caught on, ask each child to clap and count the syllables in his or her own name. Don't forget last names, too! It is easy to continue clapping other words and to count the syllables in each. If a name has many syllables, you may need to let children count the syllables as they are clapping.
4. Finding things: Initial sounds
This activity helps to extend awareness of initial sounds by asking them to compare, contrast, and eventually identify the initial sounds of a variety of words.
Spread a few pictures out in the middle of the circle. Then ask the children to find those pictures whose names start with the initial sound on which they have just been working. As each picture is found, the child is to say its name and initial sound as before (e.g., f-f-f-f-ish, /f-f-f-f/, fish).
5. Word pairs I: Take a sound away
This activity helps the children to separate the sounds of words from their meanings.
By showing the children that if the initial phoneme of a word is removed a totally different word may result, this activity further helps children to separate the sounds of words from their meanings. With the children seated in a circle, explain that sometimes when you take a sound away from a word, you end up with a totally different word.
To give the children an example, say "f-f-f-ear," elongating the initial consonant, and have the children repeat. Then say "ear," and have the children repeat. Ask the children if they can determine which sound has been taken away and repeat the words for them (i.e., f-f-f-f-ear – ear – f-f-f-f-ear – ear).
In this way, the children are challenged to attend to the initial phonemes of words even as they come to realise that the presence or absence of the initial phoneme results in two different words. Across days, gradually work up from the easier initial consonants to harder ones. Sample word lists are provided at the end of the chapter.
Note: Most children can identify the "hidden word" but have a great deal of difficulty in identifying what is taken away. Children may also be inclined to produce rhyming words rather than to focus on initial sounds. With this in mind, take care not to flip back and forth between the activities involving rhyming and initial sounds.
6. Word pairs II: Add a sound
This activity helps to introduce children to the challenge of creating words from their separate sounds.
Seat the children in a circle, and begin by explaining that sometimes a new word can be made by adding a sound to a word. As an example, say "ox," and have the children repeat it. Then ask what will happen if they add a new sound to the beginning of the word such as f-f-f-f-f: "f-f-f-f-f…ox, f-f-f-f…ox, f-f-f-f-ox." The children say, "fox!" You should then explain, "We put a new sound on the beginning, and we have a new word!"
Until the children catch on, you should provide solid guidance, asking the children to say the word parts with you in unison (e.g., "ice…m–,–,–,…ice…m-m-m-ice…mice"). Again, it is appropriate to work up gradually, across days, from the easier initial consonants to harder ones and, only after the latter are reasonably well established, to consonant blends (e.g., mile-smile).