Playing with Phonemes-Part 2

PHONEMIC MANIPULATION: There is A LOT of “meat” when it comes to manipulating phonemes!  This is more of an overview, not a comprehensive list.  If you have specific questions or comments, feel free to email me or comment directly on this post.

Again, I want to reiterate that you model these skills before you ask your child to try them.  Let her hear and see you do them before you set her free to try.  This will help to alleviate frustration on the part of your child (and yours as well!)

Phonemic Blending with Onsets and Rimes: Activities with onsets & rimes are a great way to start with phonemic manipulation.

  • To begin with onset and rime, take some picture cards (or objects from your sound tubs) of single syllable words.  The objects could be: cup, cat, dog, bug, goat.  You as the mama/teacher, say the name of an object by segmenting it into the onset and rime, pausing in between the two  (c-up, c-at, d-og, b-ug, and so on).  The child has to find the object/picture card to which you are referring.
  • We like to do the above activity when reading I Spy books.  ALuv has been fascinated with these books for about a year now.  Instead of saying, “I spy a duck”, sometimes I’ll say, “I spy a d-uck.”  This is another way to live literacy.

Moving from phonemes to phonics with onset & rime:

  • Once your child seems to have a grasp for blending together the onset and rimes, written word family games are fun (if you are using the written symbols, you’ve stepped into the phonics world).
  • To keep it extremely simple, write a rime, such as -at, on an index card.  On other index cards write a few onsets: b, c, f, m, r, and so on.  Place the onsets upside down and as you draw one, add it to -at to make a word.  It will sound like this /b/-/at/: bat!  You could make it silly by placing some onsets in the mix that would not make real words, such as gat.  When you add silly words to the mix, make sure you ask your child, “Is it a real or silly word?”
  • I’ve got more activities on my blog (click on the category Word Families) and you can find MANY more by googling “word families”.  I wanted to link some here, but became overwhelmed at the thought!!  There’s SO much out there!

I will mention one resource.  For some free online activities with onset and rime, check out these games originally from Florida’s Reading Research Center.

Individual Phoneme Blending:

  • Once a child can blend together onset and rime chunks to make words, a good thing to try is blending together individual sounds to make a word.  For example, “Listen to me say this word in a funny way: /d/-/o/-/t/.  [separate each sound].  Can you tell what word I was saying?” (dot)
  • You can also do this with picture cards or objects.  Lay several out in front of your child and say, “Can you find the /h/-/a/-/t/?”
  • I like to do this with our I Spy books, like I mentioned above.  “I spy a /d/-/u/-/k/ (duck).”  This is a great way to model this skill!
  • Check out the awesome blending game I discovered just this week on Stay and Play.  I’ve only seen portions of her blog and already know I’m going to LOVE it!

Live literacy with these skills.  Try them in the van, doctor’s office, anywhere you may have to wait or have some down time.  Make it a game…make it fun!  When you need your child to get a cup for their juice, say, “Can you get a c-up or /k/-/u/-/p/?”

Also, check out Bee Ready to Read’s sections: Blending and Manipulation for more ideas!

Remember to follow me on this phonological awareness journey and I have a surprise for you next week!


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