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Phonological Awareness Activities with Movement

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Looking for an easy way to engage your students and improve your teaching? Try these fun phonological awareness activities with movement! With all the new reading research, you’ve probably heard the terms phonological awareness and phonics on repeat. Here’s a 2 second review:

Phonological awareness is the ability to focus on sounds (phonemes) in words and manipulate them. This includes skills like identifying beginning sounds, changing the ending sound, stretching and blending sounds, etc. For phonological awareness, you don’t need any print- it’s all about sounds!

Phonics is understanding the relationship between sounds (phonemes) and print (graphemes). This includes skills like knowing the printed letter Aa says /a/ and cat is spelled c-a-t. If you’re looking at letters and words, you’re working on phonics. 

Movement Activities for Syllables

Syllables help us break longer words into manageable parts. Even young children can work with syllables in long words, like Tyrannosaurus Rex! This skill is the foundation that helps children to read and write longer words as they grow.

Here are some activities to get kids moving while breaking words into syllables:

Syllable Hop

For each syllable in the word, hop in place.

Air Punches

For each syllable in the word, punch the air with one hand. 

Stomp It

For each syllable in the word, stomp your foot. 

4 Corners Counting Syllables

Your kids will love this game! Hang a number sign in each corner of your classroom. Students choose a corner to stand. You pull out a picture card and the kids clap the syllables in word, such as all-i-ga-tor. Alligator has 4 syllables so anyone who is standing in the 4 syllables corner is “out.”  Those students come to the rug to help clap the syllables in the next word. You can keep playing until one student is left or you run out of time!

You can play during phonics or reading, but it’s also fun for inside recess, movement minutes,  or a classroom PE activity!  I can send 4 Corners Counting Syllables straight to your inbox! Just enter your email below.  

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    Movement Activities for Onset and Rime

    Working on onset and rime is another way to get kids moving! Onset refers to the first sound in a word. The rime is the rest of the word. For example, in the word cat, the onset is /c/ and the rime is /at/. 

    Here are some activities to get kids moving as they practice onset and rime:

    Onset Rime Rock

    For the onset, rock to one side. For the rime rock to the other side. Return to center as you blend the word back together. 

    Onset Rime Jump

    For the onset, step out with one foot. For the rime, step out with the other foot. Jump your feet together as you blend the word. 

    Onset Rime Rise

    For the onset, touch your toes. For the rime, touch your knees. Stand tall as you blend the word. 

    Movement Activities for Segmenting Sounds

    Segmenting and blending are important skills for growing readers and writers! Segmenting words means separating or stretching out the sounds (phonemes). For example the word cat is segmented into /c/ /a/ /t/.

    Blending means combining the sounds (phonemes)  together to make a word. For example, /c/ /a/ /t/ is blended into cat.

    Here are some activities to get moving while segmenting and blending:

    Blast Off

    For each sound, crouch down lower. Jump up as you blend the word back together. 

    Invisible Slinky

    Hold an invisible Slinky. Stretch it for each sound. Bring it back together as you blend the word. 

    Magic Wand

    Hold a pencil like a magic wand. Tap each sound and then wave your wand as you blend the word.

    Phonological Awareness Activities with Movement

    Adding movement to phonological awareness activities has so many benefits. Your students will be engaged and participating! You will be seamlessly adding important skill practice to your lessons! Plus, it’s FUN! 

    If you’re looking for more engaging movement activities, click below to check out some favorites! 

    Emily Yerty

    Emily Yerty

    I’m a first grade teacher who believes in creating a classroom kids love and activities that keep them engaged all day!

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