Are your preschoolers experts at singing their ABCs and identifying letters? If so, it might be time to help students become experts at identifying the sounds that letters make at the beginning of words.
To help students figure out how to pronounce the beginning sounds in each word, first review the alphabet. With the basics down, your students’ letter recognition skills will kick into gear and help them discern what sound to make when trying to say a new word. The following game and activity ideas from Education.com provide a fresh approach to learning that will keep it exciting for all.
Once most students have memorized their alphabet, they have already gotten the base understanding of the beginning or initial sounds of letters. As the alphabet was taught to them, they would say each letter, then a word that starts with that letter.
This is the beginning of them learning to read. Understanding the initial sound of words will begin to lay the foundation for the phonological-awareness that they will need to sound out words as they move forward.
While most letters consist of one sound, all vowels and some consonants make more than one sound. Vowels all have a long and short sound. The long vowel sound is when the vowel makes the sound of its name. The short vowel sound is when the vowel makes the sound it’s most commonly known for. Some consonants even have two sounds; a hard and a soft sound. The soft consonant sound can be drawn out and is made using the tongue and the front of the mouth. Hard consonant sounds are more abrupt and are made in the back of the mouth. The consonants that have hard and soft sounds are:
C - Circle (soft), Castle (hard)
G - Giraffe (soft), Ground (hard)
Early learners must also understand consonant and vowel digraphs as well as consonant blends. Digraphs are when two letters, when paired together, make a new sound. Blends, however, have two letters together where each sound is made. Practicing with some of the resources provided above by Education.com may help students identify these beginning sounds and lay the foundation for good phonological awareness.