Word Awareness

The activities in this section help children to identify words within sentences. When speaking, children do not usually concentrate on individual words, but this is necessary when they are learning to read. In these activities children will develop an awareness of words in spoken and written sentences and understand that word order has an effect on sentence meaning. Compound words are introduced to encourage the child to look within the word for meaningful parts.

Because words and syllables are more salient than individual phonemes, activities that involve counting the number of words in a sentence or syllables in a word can be used as initial steps leading to isolated phoneme synthesis and segmentation

The awareness that spoken language is composed of words should not be assumed even in children with several years schooling.

Words are Part of Sentences
Ask a simple comprehension question such as “What day is it today?”
Make a sentence: “Today is Wednesday”.
Repeat the sentence and count the words with your child, a number of times. Use body percussion (touch
a different part of the body for each word) as you count.
Ask for part of the sentence e.g. “Today is”. Ask for part of this sentence e.g. “today” “Today” is a word. Now use “today” to create a new sentence. E.g. “Today I am going shopping”.

Tell a Story
Tell a story, every time a particular word is heard, class claps, clicks or goes buzz. Children can do this many times with many stories listening for specific words and carrying out specific actions.

Compound Words
Compound words are words created by bringing two words together. E.g. rain bow
Say both words, separately, can your child make the whole word.
Reverse the game – Say the whole word, ask your child to say first or last part of compound word. Eg: “Rainbow” now take away ‘rain.’

Rain (bow) Broom (stick) Grass (hopper) Star (fish)
Door (step) Moon (light) Lip (stick) Foot (ball)
Pig (tail) Sun (shine) Pan (cake) Bus (stop)
Stop (watch) Gold (fish) Tea (spoon) House (boat)
Book (case) Eye (ball) Paint (brush) Sun (hat)
Ball (boy) Back (door) House (guest) Fish (tank)
Bulls (eye) Movie (star) Hat (band) Door (bell)
House (full) Door (knob) Watch (band) Eye (lid)
Straw (broom) Basket (full) Spoon (full) House (work)
Light (house) Tug (boat) Cup (board) Ward (robe)

Breaking Sentences
Choose sentences of increasing length. Count the words – this should be oral only, children can use fingers or tap different parts of their body for each word in the sentence. Any sentence from a reading bok could be used. Below are random examples.
Catch it. May I have a turn? It is nearly time to go home.
Sit down. Rainy days are fun. Whose bag is that over there?
Go away. Where is my book? We can learn a lot from books.
I like dogs. Big dogs jump high. Will the show be open on Friday?
Come here. I built a huge bridge. Lollies are not good for our teeth
Give me two. Mac is a milking cow. Why do giraffes have long necks?
Please eat up. Mr Brown is my teacher. The big truck slid on the wet road.
Sally runs fast. I just heard the bell ring. Bears like to hide and sleep in winter.
He loves to skip. When can Peter play tennis? The furry ginger cat drank all the milk.
The lion is angry. The little mice are sleeping I need my umbrella because it might rain.
We eat spicy food. She will let you play Skippy.

Credit goes to Jane Sheils & Yvonne Sawyers


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