Phonological Awareness Activities for Preschoolers

Instructor: Grace Pisano

Grace has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in teaching. She previously taught high school in several states around the country.

Developing the skills of phonological awareness in your preschool students will put them on the right path in their journey as future readers and writers. These activities can be used in preschool or kindergarten classrooms.

Phonological Awareness

In the preschool classroom, phonological awareness works on training the ear to pick up the sounds and rhythm of the English language. Developed early, these skills will help your students with the three main traits of phonological awareness: counting syllables, rhyming words, and deciphering how to pronounce a word. There is one activity designed to work on each of these skills in this asset. There are opportunities for group and individual work in this lesson.

Letter Sounds with Objects

For this activity, students will work on identifying letter sounds in words. You can repeat this activity throughout the year, focusing on different letters each time. Begin by picking two or three letter sounds to work on at a time (you could pick more sounds for older students). Gather several small objects from around your room that start with these letters. For example, if picking the letters a, b, and c, you could gather the following objects:

A - apple, ant figurine, alligator (stuffed animal), etc.

B - bumble bee (stuffed animal), bear (stuffed animal), bottle, baby doll, etc.

C- cat (stuffed animal or figurine), cereal, toy car, cap, etc.

Next, create three large circles on the ground. Write one of the letters in the middle of each circle. When doing the activity, students will work in small groups to put the objects into the circle that corresponds with the letter. This activity works great during station time or as a stand alone activity.

If you have a hard time finding the objects needed, you could do a similar activity by printing out images (instead or using physical objects) and having students sort them this way.

  • Materials Needed: Objects that start with different letters of the alphabet or clipart images of objects

Nursery Rhymes - An Introduction to Rhyme

In this activity, students will work on identifying rhyming sounds using familiar nursery rhymes. During circle time, read a rhyming song to the children. Great ones to use include ''1, 2 Buckle My Shoe'' or ''Humpty Dumpty.'' You can find books with the nursery rhymes at many libraries or free online resources that illustrate the nursery rhymes.

After reading one or two of the nursery rhymes to the class, ask students ''What it is about these stories that makes them different from other books we read.'' From here, you can talk about rhyming words in books and songs.

Then, read the rhymes again as a class, pointing out and repeating the rhyming words. Read a different nursery rhyme and ask students to identify the words that rhyme.

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