Giving you the tools and skills to help you develop into a stronger teacher of literacy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Phonemic Awareness Activity: Alliteration

Alliteration is where all or most of the words in a sentence begin with the same letter.  Making silly alliteration sentences to read with your child is a fun activity to reinforce phonemic awareness, or the ability to hear sounds in words.  It also helps your child to learn upper and lower case letters as well.

Examples of Alliteration are:


The baby bear brought blankets and balloons to the ball.

Mary might mix marshmallows in the muffin mix.

Willy went to the water to watch a walrus.


Billy's brown balloon

Lara's lemon lollipop

 purple painted pansey


1.  Write an alliteration sentence or phrase.

2.  Read the sentences or phrase a few times with your child.

3.  Ask you child to circle the repeating letter in each word that begins with that letter.

4.  Read just the words that begin with the repeating letter.

5.  Encourage your child to repeat the words and then the letter sound that the words begin with.

6.  Next, reread the silly sentence or phrase.

7.  Finally, have your child write the letter (repeated in the different words) and have your child draw a picture to match the silly sentence or phrase.

8.  Save these to make a book of silly sentences or phrases to reread in the future to practice letters and sounds.  Having your child draw the illustration will give him ownership with the book.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Story Extenders: More Puppet Ideas: Printable Puppets

Another way to make puppets to extend stories is find the characters in the stories online, in coloring books, or use your copier to make copies of the characters (in color).   When searching online, search for (insert book title characters printables)  and you will be surprised what you find as teacher resources that are free.

Have your child color the puppet characters and cut them out.  Then attach them to popsicle sticks using white glue or strong tape.

Reread the story and ask your child to hold up the character when the story is about that character.  Later, encourage your child to retell the story using just the puppets.

Again, this will help your child to build comprehension skills.  You will notice they remember more about the story each time they interact with the story.

Here is one site I found with printables for good books for emergent readers:   http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/printable_booklets.html#SharedReadingBooklets

It's just like an adult seeing a movie or reading a book more than once.  We see or remember things we missed the first time.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Extending a Story: Paper Bag Puppets

There are many ways you can extend a story with another activity other than reading the story a second time.

Children love to play and acting out a story is a fun way to play and build comprehension skills at the same time.

You and your child can make paper bag puppets using lunch bags, construction paper, googly eyes, feathers, and any other craft supplies you can find in your home.  You can also purchase inexpensive supplies at the Dollar Tree or your local craft stores.

Talk to your child about the different characters in the story and make puppets for some or all of the characters.  Then, reread the story and you and your child can hold up the puppets when they are in the story.

Later, encourage your child to tell the story with just the puppets.  This is where you can see how much your child comprehends or remembers what was in the story.  This is a skill children need to learn to become good readers.

Have fun and enjoy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Journal Writing for Preschoolers

It is never to early to give your child their own journal.  For young children, you don't need to have lines on the paper.  If the journal or notebook has lines, don't worry they won't use them anyway. 

Encourage your child to draw anything they like.  In the beginning, it may look like scribbles and lines, but it will eventually start to look like some shapes as your child learns control with a crayon or pencil.  This will happen as their fine motor skills develop. 

When you child tells you about their picture or tells a story about it, record what they say on their paper.  Ask perrnission from your child first though!  This will show the child that their words can be put into print.

As your child begins writing letters, you will see them play with the letters and randomly write them down on their paper to imitate the writing you did in their journal.  Encourage them to read it to you, which reinforces that print or letters have meaning.

These are the beginning stages of learning to write, not handwriting, but writing for a purpose....writing to share an idea, story or information.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Review: Knock, Knock! Who's There?

Knock, Knock jokes become a fun way to play around with words with your children.  They are fun, silly and are a hidden way to build comprehension. 


The book, Knock, Knock! Who's There? by Tad Hills is labeled "My First Book of Knock-Knock Jokes".  It is a great book to read with your children ages 3 an up.

The jokes in this book all contain names of people as part of the joke.  It will provide fun and laughter for your family and show your children there are all different type of books that you can enjoy together. 

The bonus and funny part is when your children try to create their own knock, knock jokes.  Beware, they may not make sense at first, but laugh anyway.  Over time, they will learn there are connections of meaning between the word and the answer to the joke.  This is where the comprehension lesson is hidden.