Singing songs helps children hear that words are broken down into smaller parts (from Every Child Ready to Read website).
Phonological awareness is all about being able to hear small units of sounds in words. It’s about being able to tell the difference between those smaller units. And English has at least 44 of these small units!
In later school years when children have trouble with reading, most often the trouble is rooted in a lack of phonological awareness.
You don’t want to try to teach these sounds; you simply want to provide opportunities for your children to learn these sounds. Talking with them works; letting them talk works; and playing with rhymes, nonsense words and songs works best!
Check out the Rhymes & Fingerplay podcasts; click here and then scroll down the page for a complete listing. Remember, you can listen to them from a computer but you can also download them for free onto your MP3 player and take them with you!
(Thanks to The Graphics Fairy website for the great clip art.)