Lately we’ve been going back to literacy basics with Phonemic Awareness Rhyming Games. Miss T’s reading has not progressed like I would have hoped. And although we have always read, and she is a really bright child, reading seems to be something that hasn’t come naturally to her. It hasn’t “clicked” yet.
Instead of forcing sight words, and mundanely sounding out of letters in home readers, we have gone back to basics with some fun Phonemic Awareness Rhyming Games for right brain learners. She has been playing with word families, hunting for rhyming words, finding letters to match pictures in a sensory hands-on way.
Research by the National reading panel, suggests that by teaching and revising phonics and phonemic awareness, children get back to basics and have a better reading result than forcing whole language programs (sight words). Particularly if it isn’t coming naturally. “Teaching phonemic awareness improves a child’s reading, reading comprehension, and spelling abilities”.
As a right brain learner, or a visual-spatial learner as it is often reffered to, sounding out words from work sheets and going over whole word flashcards isn’t beneficial. They prefer to be hands on, with visual clues and need all the information at once. So instead of being caught up in the sight word rat race, I am being mindful that every child learns at a different rate and in their own way.
No two brains learn alike. Let me explain the underlying premises first…
Why Phonemic Awareness Rhyming Games?
Phonics are just one way to help children learn to read from alphabetic principle. The concept that words are made of letters, and letters represent sounds, means addressing phonics is one of the first steps towards reading.
Reading is taken for granted by most of us. Question: Do you remember learning to read?
Often, this is something that occurs naturally in childhood and early schooling, then blossoms further throughout primary school. For some it just happens organically. For others it is something that must be worked on. So, for some children, being read to consistently is all it takes… For others they must work on essential elements of learning to read first (such as phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension).
However, for right brain children, learning occurs more naturally when it is tactile, visual, holistic and creative. Like Dimples, I think Miss T is a right brain child.
Right Brain Children
- Rely heavily on the right side of their brain, the creative side.
- Have good conversation and vocabulary skills.
- Learn better with visual excitment (think bright pictures, images, colour coding, charts, drawings).
- Enjoy hands-on, sensory and tactile activities.
- Are often said to be distracted easily.
- Tune out when required to follow multi-step directions.
- Learn through visual clues, preferring information all at once.
- Learn through doing (not observing).
- Do not learn by traditional school methods (worksheets, tracing sheets, desk work, listening to draw out instructions).
Reading Basics for Right Brain Learners
Phonemic awareness is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in words. Alongside rhyming and word play, it is an important early reading skill that helps children develop steps to learn sounds that make up a word = Reading. Rhyming and understanding what it takes to rhyme are an extension of phonemic awareness.
Miss T is great at rhymes and word play (especially when it involves singing and visually searching for objects that rhyme). Being a predominant right brain learner she needs a kinestic, play based creative approach instead of just words and letters on paper.
Lately we have been focusing on visual and tactile Phonemic Awareness Rhyming Games – Trying to add phonemic awareness and word families to our play in a sensory, manipulative, visually appealing, fine motor, creative, and fun way… Here are some phonemic awareness rhyming games that might help right brain learners.
But First…. Use it in every day language. When you are giving them directions or asking a question, sound out one or two of the words, so they need to link it up in order to comprehend what you’re saying. This helps them to understand that words, are made of individual sounds. For example, I said “Do you W – A – N – T to P- L- A – Y a game with the lavender rice?” (gaps signify phonemes). And when ever I do this I can see Miss T watch my lips and sound out the word in her head, then she announces it with an excited “YAY I got It” attitude.
Find the Rhyming Pictures
We did some watercolor painting over the weekend. While Miss T was creating master peices, I did some quick little pictures of items that rhymed. Cat, Hat, Bat, Mat, Sat, Fat (meat fat).
I hide them in a tray of Lavender scented Rice and gave Miss T some plastic tweezers (fine motor skills and finger strength). She just had to find all the pictures. Easy! it was a simple quiet and relaxing activity to do before story time and bed.
Find the Sounds to match the pictures word
Again, this was pretty simple. We have a fridge full on alphabet magnets. Miss T just had to find a picture. Sound out the sounds in the word and find the magnet letters to suit.
Word Hunt and Match
The next day we mixed it up. I buried words from this printable word sheets, back into the scented rice. Miss T had to hunt for the words, sound out the letters and then find the correlating picture. While using her tweezers.
Print the words on this printable
Print the images on this printable
Even though this is such a simple task, she loves sensory trays and learning that incorporates play. This tray would be beneficial for right brain learners as it is visually beautiful, the images are helpful which makes connections to the words, the scent of the rice is relaxing and the rice itself a sensory ingredient, it is tactile requiring movement/fine motor/crossing the midline and its just interesting to play with.
Phonemic Awareness Rhyming Word families
The next time Miss T asked to play with it, I buried the words and asked her to find them all and categorise them by rhyme. This required her to sound out the sounds within the word, and then repeat with the next word, re-reading and going back and forth among the words until she has identified the rhyming sounds. Then she had to group them together.
This was a bit of fun. She even has her LOL dolls using their magnifying glass to look for the words. This also benefits visual learners because they begin to see the similarities within the word families when they are grouped or stacked together.
Great products for early readers
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