As part of our Skills Block we put a priority on phonemic awareness in these early days of Kindergarten. To bring phonemic awareness alive, I wrote a Nursery Rhyme Unit several years ago. It includes nursery rhyme activities, and suggests teaching a rhyme a week, but uses the words from the rhymes to practice phonemic awareness. For instance, this week while we are learning the Jack and Jill nursery rhyme,
- the students are blending words from the rhyme (/J/ /ack/ Jack, /w/ /ent/ went, /h/ /ill/ hill),
- identifying the first sound that they hear (What is the first sound you hear in Jack? /J/ What is the first sound in fetch? /f/),
- What other words rhyme with hill? (Jill, grill, thrill...)
- What are the rhyming words in the nursery rhyme? (hill-Jill, down-crown).
So the meat of the lesson in phonemic awarenes is in between the comprehension of the nursery rhyme. To comprehend this rhyme we act it out, use motions to sing it to a tune, draw the rhyme's beginning, middle and end, draw pictures of all the nouns in the rhyme, etc.