Greetings, teachers and parents! Today, we’re talking about phonemic awareness, a crucial skill that lays the foundation for reading success.

As a former kindergarten teacher with nearly two decades of experience and a mom of two, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of nursery rhymes and poems in building phonemic awareness in young children.

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Join me on this journey as we explore how these rhythmic verses contribute to phonemic awareness development.

Plus, we’ll learn how to engage in practical activities that make learning both fun and effective.

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The Power of Rhyme in Phonemic Awareness Development

Phonemic awareness, the ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds (or phonemes) in spoken words, is a key predictor of a child’s success in learning to read.

Nursery rhymes and poems offer a delightful and natural way to develop this skill.

The rhythmic and repetitive nature of rhymes highlights the distinct sounds within words, making it easier for children to grasp the building blocks of language.

Practical Activities to Strengthen Phonemic Awareness with Rhymes

1. Rhyme Recognition Game:

Choose a nursery rhyme and emphasize the rhyming words.

Have your child identify words that rhyme and sort them into groups. For example, in “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” words like “star” and “are” rhyme.

2. Sound Segmentation:

Select a simple nursery rhyme and break down the words into individual sounds.

Encourage your child to clap or tap for each sound. For instance, in “Humpty Dumpty,” segmenting “sat” would involve clapping three times.

3. Phoneme Blending:

Opt for rhymes with repetitive sounds and ask your child to blend them together.

In “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” blend the sounds in “itsy” and “bitsy” to emphasize the individual phonemes.

4. Create Rhyme Families:

Explore different nursery rhymes and identify words with similar ending sounds.

Create “rhyme families” and encourage your child to come up with new words that belong to each family.

word-family-picture-sort-example-1

Phonemically Rich Nursery Rhymes

Engaging in learning to read through nursery rhymes is essential as it transforms the process into an enjoyable and playful experience.

The rhythmic and entertaining nature of rhymes captivates young minds. Thus, it sets the stage for a love of lifelong learning.

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1. The Itsy Bitsy Spider

  • Phonemic Elements:
    • Emphasizes the sounds of “i,” “t,” “s,” and “b” in “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
    • Opportunity to explore the “itsy” and “bitsy” sounds.

  • Activities:
    • Rhyme Recognition Game: Identify rhyming words and find other words that rhyme with “itsy” and “bitsy.”
    • Sound Segmentation: Break down the words into individual sounds. For example, in “Itsy,” segmenting “i” and “tsy” involves clapping twice.
    • Activity Bundle: Each printable activity will infuse joy and playfulness with reading and reciting this popular nursery rhyme.
Itsy Bitsy Spider Activities

2. Hickory Dickory Dock

  • Phonemic Elements:
    • Emphasizes the sounds of “h,” “k,” “r,” “d,” and “t” in “Hickory Dickory Dock.”
    • Opportunity to explore the “-ock” sound.

  • Activities:
    • Rhyme Recognition Game: Identify rhyming words and find other words that rhyme with “dock” and “mouse”.
    • Sound Segmentation: Break down the words into individual sounds. For example, in “mouse,” segmenting “m” and “ouse”.
    • Sequencing Cards: This fun rhyme serves as a gateway to interactive games and activities, fostering a love for learning in the early childhood classroom.

3. Little Miss Muffet

  • Phonemic Elements:
    • Emphasizes the sounds of “m,” “s,” and “t” in “Little Miss Muffet” and “tuffet.”
    • Opportunity to explore the “uff” sound in “Muffet” and “tuffet.”

  • Activities:
    • Identify rhyming words and sort them into groups. For example, “Muffet” and “tuffet” rhyme.
    • Sound Segmentation: Break down the words into individual sounds. For instance, in “Muffet,” segmenting “m” and “uffet” involves clapping twice.
    • Write the Room: This is an interactive, hands-on, activity to build vocabulary, reading, writing, rhyming, and concepts of print.
little-miss-muffet-write-the-room-nursery-rhymes-recording-sheet

4. Hey Diddle Diddle

  • Phonemic Elements:
    • Emphasizes the sounds of “h,” “d,” “l,” and “e” in “Hey Diddle Diddle.”
    • Opportunity to explore the “-le” ending sound.

  • Activities:
    • Rhyme Recognition Game: Identify rhyming words and find other words that rhyme with “diddle”, “cat”, “dog”, and “moon”,
    • Sound Segmentation: Break down the words into individual sounds. For example, in “cat”, segmenting “c” and “at” sounds.
    • Activity Bundle: There are 6 printable resources included to engage your active learners in Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes.
Hey Diddle Diddle printable resources bundle for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade.

Conclusion

By incorporating these phonemically rich nursery rhymes into your child’s daily routine, you’re not only making learning enjoyable but also laying the groundwork for strong reading skills.

Remember, the journey to phonemic awareness is a process, and the key is to keep it engaging and playful.

Explore these activities and nursery rhymes on Little Learning Corner, and watch as your child’s phonemic awareness skills blossom.

Stay tuned for more insights and activities as we continue to unlock the wonders of language together. Happy rhyming and reading!

Before you go, here are more posts you’ll enjoy:

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10 Tips for Choosing Nursery Rhymes and Poems for Kids

The rhythmic and repetitive nature of rhymes highlights the distinct sounds within words, making it easier for children to grasp the building blocks of language.