I have spent a fair amount of time teaching the letter names and sounds to William. But I stressed more the name, rather than the sound. This is because by learning letter names he was also hearing the sounds (of most letters).
However, recently when I ask William to do something, he’ll reply by saying something silly by manipulating the sounds of what I’d just said. For example, if I say to William, “Let’s go upstairs and brush your teeth,” he might respond with something like, “You go upstairs and frush your feeth.” Frush and feeth are what educators call nonsense words, but the way William manipulated the original words to make up his own silly words show he is ready for some very basic and simple phonemic awareness practice and possibly some basic phonics.
So, I came up with this object to sound matching activity and was quite surprised at William’s performance.
Supplies needed are some sort of letter manipulative, such as cards, tiles, ect., and some toys your child is very familiar with. I chose to use William’s plastic farm animals.
Preschool Sound Matching
I began by asking William to choose and animal and place it on the work mat. I asked him to name the animal.William: hrooster Me: /r/, /r/, /r/ rooster. That’s right. What letter does rooster start with?
Older children (perhaps six years or older) can easily look through the entire alphabet and pick out which of the twenty-six letters is at the beginning of the word “rooster”. However, William looses interests when the entire alphabet is staring up at him. Plus, William just turned three so despite the fact he knows nearly all his letter names and sounds, associating sounds with words/objects (in this case a farm animal) could still prove to be very difficult. This is how I came to the choice to keep it simple by only giving William two letter options from which to choose.
Near the end of our practice, if a sound was very familiar, like the /k/ in cow, I could throw in a third letter and William was still able to choose the correct letter after a few seconds of deliberation. Eventually, he will reach the point where he can automatically match objects with their beginning sounds.
Note: I did not include animals who’s names began with digraphs, like the /sh/ sound in sheep, or the /ch/ sound in chicken. These sounds have not been introduced to William (and won’t be for a long while), so it wouldn’t have made sense to include those animals. Although, for older kindergarten students of those in first or second grade it would be appropriate to include digraph tiles to extend this activity.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.
What a good idea! My little one is getting board with just letter identification, so this is a great activity to take her to the next level.
Deb @ Living Montessori Now says
I love activities that match letter sounds with small objects, and they were always a favorite with my son when he was little. The farm animals are great for this! Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and pinned it to my Farm Unit Study Pinterest Board at http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/farm-unit-study/.
Susie Earning-My-Cape says
I love that you used the little animals for this activity! How fun!
We do something similar, but with homemade flash cards. (I think I even mentioned something about it in a post I have scheduled to be published soon.)
I really like the letter tiles that you have!
Thanks for sharing with my Super Link Party! 🙂
Great game! Kids love animals. Perfect choice for the activity. Thanks for sharing at Mom’s Library!
Anu Ganesh says
Very nice game. My nearly 3 year old knows how to match sounds with words (basic ones). Will see if he can play this. Thanks for sharing.
maryanne @ mama smiles says
Simple, fun learning. LOVE it!