Activities for Phonological Awareness Syllables

Rhythm copy

  • Children to sit in a circle, adult to play a simple rhythm on a drum, child to copy.Adult to clap a simple rhythm, child to copy.
  • Adult to stamp their feet using a simple rhythm, child to copy.

Musical rhythms

  • Play marching games in time to music.
  • Beat out the rhythm of a known nursery rhyme or song on a drum or tambourine.

Rhythms of words

  • Adult starts the activity by showing the child an object/picture (e.g. teddy) then claps out the number of syllables. Adult then shows the child another object e.g. bucket and asks the child to clap the syllables in the object word.
  • A good place to start is with two syllable words. This is because children often find it more difficult to recognise single syllable words. Gradually increase number of syllables in words.

Stepping the syllables

  • Place hoops on the floor, child given object e.g. caravan and jumps from hoop to hoop with each syllable of the word.
  • Extend this game by asking the child to put out the number of hoops he needs before ‘jumping the word’.
    In a group situation this provides excellent learning opportunities for all the children as this involves looking, listening and doing.

Syllable counters

  • Adult says a word, e.g. elephant and the child puts out one counter per syllable.
  • This is a good group activity.
  • An extended level of this activity is when the adult does not say the word for the child – the child names the word and then puts one counter out per syllable.
  • Notice at this stage whether the child needs to say the word out loud to complete the activity.
  • The highest level of this activity would be when the child can carry it out by simply thinking of the word.
  • The child is given a word (e.g. ballerina), the child has to say how many syllables there are in the word.
  • A supporting strategy would be to go back to the previous level and count the counters.

IEP Targets for Syllable Work

(See also attention and listening skills targets)

  • To copy a simple rhythm on a drum
  • To copy a simple rhythm by clapping
  • To copy a simple rhythm by stamping feet
  • To march in time to music
  • To beat out the rhythm of a well known nursery rhyme or song
  • To clap the number of syllables in a word following a prompt
  • To predict the number of syllables in own target word after saying it out loud
  • To predict the number of syllables in a word without saying it out loud

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Last updated: 5 November 2015

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