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There is overwhelming evidence that early learning of nursery rhymes and rhythmic poems, songs, and chants significantly enhances early reading skills and phonemic awareness. In fact research highlights phonemic awareness as a strong predictor of a child’s reading success.
Professor Hallie Yopp* outlines… the “progression of phonemic awareness development in pre-school, kindergarten, and early first grade includes the ability:
to hear rhymes or alliteration
to blend sounds to make a word (e.g., /a/-/t/ = at)
to count phonemes in words ( how many sounds do you hear in “is”?)
to identify the beginning, middle, and final sounds in words
to substitute one phoneme for another (e.g., change the /h/ in “hot” to /p/
to delete phonemes from words (e.g., omit the /c/ from “cat”)”
(*Research Highlights – Hallie Kay Yopp, Ph.D, Professor, Dept. of Elementary and Bilingual Education, CSU Fullerton)
The above article is well worth reading – there are some very interesting vital points regarding the teaching of reading and the why teach nursery rhymes question, you can view the article here.
Yes, yes, yes, this is what I love to hear….I love ‘Playing with Words’. What could be more fun and educational than learning to read and write by learning funny poems and rhymes, and searching for all the great patterns and rhymes within those words.
I have had children bursting out of their skins after introducing a new poem, to tell me about all the patterns and rhymes they can see within that poem. It’s amazing to observe, before you know it they are talking about patterns within words everywhere – it’s great.
If you are excited about finding patterns, substituting words etc., they will be too – it will rub off.
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