Posts Tagged ‘Phonemic Awareness’

Chunks, syllables, and sounds…what’s the difference?

There are soooo many things that I will share about teaching your child to read, but I have to start with the basic pre-reading info to give you a well-rounded understanding of how reading skills are acquired.

So for now, I am going to introduce a new aspect of reading development which also has to do with hearing chunks (word parts) within words….

The more you play with words the more children will get the idea that a word is made up of sounds, the more they will be listening for those sounds.  This gives children experience putting sounds together to make a word.  So, eventually you will be able to say the sounds /c//a//t/ and they will finally hear the word “cat”.  But there are several things we have to establish first, and one of them is parts of a word.

A beginner reader needs to know that some words have chunks in them where they could hear a word (or words) inside of a word.  For example, “cupcake” has the word “cup” and “cake” in it and “bedroom” has “bed” and “room” in it.  As adults, we just label these words compound words, but to children this can open their eyes to what a word can be made up of.

A syllable on the other hand is a way for a child to count how many groups of sounds are in their name or other words.  One way you might teach your child they have syllables (or parts) in their name is by clapping while simultaneously saying the sound “jess (clap)- i (clap) – ca (clap)” and let your child hold up a finger every time you clap and then ask “How many parts are there?”

Then of course there are sounds…every spoken consonant, vowel, or blend like “sh”, “ch”, etc.

I will post more on all of this soon, but for now, here is an activity to help your child start hearing words within words:

compound pictures



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