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Emergent Literacy. Early Childhood Education. Georgia CTAE Resource Network Instructional Resources Office Written By: Habersham Child Development Center July 2009. Areas of Literacy Development. Oral Language The ability to relate sounds to meanings Phonological Awareness

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Emergent literacy

Emergent Literacy

Early Childhood Education

Georgia CTAE Resource Network

Instructional Resources Office

Written By: Habersham Child Development Center

July 2009

Areas of literacy development
Areas of Literacy Development

  • Oral Language

    • The ability to relate sounds to meanings

  • Phonological Awareness

    • The ability to attend to the sounds of language as distinct from its meaning

  • Print Awareness

    • Knowledge about the functions, structures and conventions of print

  • Book Interest and Understanding

    • Interest in and knowledge of how books work

Phonological awareness
Phonological Awareness

Co-relational studies have identified phonemic awareness and letter knowledge as the two best school-entry predictors of how well children will learn to read during the first 2 years of instruction.

What is phonological awareness
What is Phonological Awareness?

  • Umbrella term that includes word awareness, syllable awareness, and individual sound (phoneme) awareness

  • Conscious awareness of the sound structure of words and the ability to manipulate sounds in words

Why is phonological awareness so important
Why is phonological awareness so important?

“A child’s level of phonemic awareness on entering kindergarten is widely held to be the strongest single determinant of the success that she or he will experience in learning to read, or, conversely, the likelihood that she or he will fail.”

(Adams, 1990)

What is the sequence of skills in phonological awareness
What is the sequence of skills in Phonological awareness?

  • Word Awareness

    • The ability to relate sounds to meanings

      • Rhyme Awareness

  • Syllable Awareness

    • Blend compound words

    • Segment compound words

    • Blend multi-syllabic words

    • Segment multi-syllabic words

    • Syllable deletion

      • Rhyme Awareness

Emergent literacy

  • Phonemic Awareness

    • Phoneme blending

      • Onset-rime blending

        • Onsets – single consonant or consonant blend that precedes the vowel

        • Word endings – rimes – the vowel and the following consonants

      • Individual sound blending

    • Identify initial sound in words

    • Produce initial sound in words

Emergent literacy


Strategies for Phonological


Auditory discrimination
Auditory Discrimination

  • Listening for the alarm clock

    • Objective: locate a sound that blends easily with the environment

    • Materials: ticking clock

    • Activity: One child closes his eyes, while another child hides the clock. The child then uncovers his eyes and looks for the clock by listening for the ticking sound. During the search, the other children must be as quiet as mice…

Auditory discrimination cont
Auditory Discrimination Cont…

  • Identifying common sounds

    • Discovery Toys – “What’s that sound?”

Auditory processing
Auditory Processing

  • Do you remember?

    • Objective: help children to recall one and two-step directions

    • Materials: random classroom items

    • Activity: Instruct the child who is “it” to complete a series of actions (hop to the door, and say “boo.” “Go to the table and pick up the book and the red block.”

Word segmentation
Word Segmentation

  • Introducing the idea of sentences

    • Objective: Introduce children to the notion of sentences

    • Materials: Interesting pictures

    • Activity: Give children a simple explanation of a sentence. For example: it’s like a very short story. It tells something and has to name who or what it is telling about. Give examples of sentences using the children’s names. Point out that each sentence tells who or what and something about the who or what. Give examples of non-sentences, like “Mary” or “is jumping.”

Syllable segmentation
Syllable Segmentation

  • Name Sort

    • Objective: Children clap the syllables in their names

    • Materials: 4 pieces of paper marked with 1, 2, 3, or 4 dots, pictures and/or name cards of children in class

    • Activity: Place the paper marked with dots on the floor, table, or wall. Give each student his or her picture or name card. Ask each student to say his/her name and help them clap the syllables in his/her name (each syllable has one vowel sound). Then have the student place he picture and/or name card with the paper with dots that match the correct number of syllables in his word. Once all the children’s names are placed on the paper, clap the words in each number group.

Syllable segmentation1
Syllable Segmentation

  • Picture Sort

    • Objective: children segment/clap the syllables in words

    • Materials: Picture cards, 4 pieces of paper marked with 1, 2, 3, or 4 dots

    • Activity: The games is very similar to the name sort game. Place the paper marked with dots on the floor or table. Give each student a picture. Name the picture for the student and help them clap the syllables in the word. Then have the student place his picture with the paper with dots that matches the correct number of syllables in his word. Once all the words are placed on a paper, clap the words in each number group.

Syllable segmentation2
Syllable Segmentation

  • Yummy, Yummy

    • Objective: children clap the syllables of words

    • Materials: food pictures

    • Activity: class chants, “Yummy, yummy, rub your tummy, what’s a food you like to eat? Student chants: I like pop corn (student replies a food name, clapping the syllables as they are said).

Rhyme awareness
Rhyme Awareness

  • Hungry Thing

    • Objective: children listen to rhymes and begin to develop rhyme awareness

    • Materials: hand puppet, food picture cards

    • Activity: Teacher passes out food picture cards to each student. Hungry thing (puppet) is very hungry and says, “feed me!” Children respond with “What would you like to eat?” Hungry Thing answers, “I want rizza!” Teacher helps children find the food that rhymes with rizza and Hungry thing eats the pizza.

Syllable deletion
Syllable Deletion

  • Take it away

    • Objective: children practice syllable deletion with compound words

    • Materials: two box grids, compound word pictures

    • Activity: students say compound word represented on picture. The teacher asks students to say the word again without the first or second part. Teachers use the box grids for visual cues. For example, teacher says, “Say cupcake. Say it again without saying cup.” The box grid is used for a visual cue.


  • Simon Says

    • Objective: student practice syllable and phoneme blending

    • Materials: none

    • Activity: teacher leads Simon Says game: “Simon says, touch your shoul-der, el-bow, an-kle, bel-ly, h-e-a-d,



  • Say it Fast!

    • Objective: children blend syllables to make words and sounds to make words

    • Materials: multi-syllabic cards

    • Activity: teacher explains that she is going to talk funny (or slowly) and say a secret word. The kids can figure out the secret word, if they can say it fast. For example, the teacher says, “What’s the secret word, tor-na-do?”


  • What’s in the Bag?

    • Objective: students improve their ability to synthesize words from their separate syllables.

    • Materials: bag with multi-syllabic toy items (barbie, guitar, bicycle…)

    • Activity: teacher explains that there are several items in the bag and they are to figure out the item by “saying it fast.” The teacher says the item syllable by syllable.

Phoneme awareness
Phoneme Awareness

  • Sound Introduction

    • Objective: phoneme awareness

    • Materials: none

    • Activity: teacher introduces the sounds (a/z/m/t/) using a multi-sensory approach. The students learn to feel the sounds and determine how their mouth makes each sound. The students will focus on the placement of the tongue, teeth, and lips, as well as vocal cord vibrations and stop and continuous sounds.

Emergent literacy


Emergent literacy


Emergent literacy


Emergent literacy


Beginning sound matching
Beginning Sound Matching

  • Beginning sound picture sort

    • Objective: beginning sound matching

    • Materials: picture cards that begin with sounds being introduced, sticky boards labeled with the sound/symbol at the top

    • Activity: the teacher presents a picture card to each student and asks her to “feel” the beginning sound. The pictures are sorted onto the appropriate “sticky board.”


  • CVC phonics blending

    • Objective: phonics and beginning reading

    • Materials: large sound/symbol cards with the letters, a/z/m/t (with picture cues)

    • Activity: teacher uses symbol cards to help students sound out real and nonsense words