Students sit in a circle. Each student claps the syllables in their name e.g. Lu-cy (clap, clap)
This could also be done with claves, other forms of body percussion
Group time rhymes with movement, stamping feet for the beat or syllable - e.g. feet, feet, feet, feet, march-ing up and down the street
Mystery bag - fill with familiar objects, students pull out an object, name it, clap the syllables - e.g. 'lion' - li-on, 'ball' - ball, 'octopus' - oct-o-pus
Set up a t-chart on the carpet (could use string or masking tape), children choose an object from around the room to bring to the carpet and classify depending on the number of syllables e.g. the t-chart may have 1-syllable and 2+ syllables, children place their objects accordingly (hat in 1 syllable, pen-cil in 2+ syllable)
Foundation Level Lesson: Developing Syllable Awareness
Text: I Went Walking by Sue Williams and Julie Vivas
About the text: A little girl goes for a walk and meets a number of colourful farm animals along the way.
The text contains
- Repeated sentence structures
- Questions and answers
- Supporting text matching the illustrations
- Rhythm and rhyme
Links to the Curriculum
Victorian Curriculum (English), Reading and Viewing: Language-Expressing and developing ideas:
Foundation: Recognise that texts are made up of words and groups of words that make meaning (Content description VCELA144)
Victorian Curriculum (English), Reading and Viewing: Literacy-Interpreting, analysing, evaluating:
Foundation: Read texts with familiar structures and features, practising phrasing and fluency, and monitor meaning using concepts about print and emerging phonic, semantic, contextual and grammatical knowledge (Content description VCELY152)
Victorian Curriculum (English), Speaking and Listening: Language-Phonics and word knowledge:
Foundation: Identify rhyming words, alliteration patterns, syllables and some sounds (phonemes) in spoken words (Content description VCELA168)
A component of phonology is syllable awareness. Understanding syllables, that is, understanding that words can be broken up into parts, helps students to decode words when reading and spell words when writing. Before focusing on syllables in print, it is important that students develop an auditory awareness of syllables. Children’s literature which has rhymes and repetition provides an engaging context for students to develop their skills in syllabification.
Objects and pictures for follow up work.
We are learning to identify the syllables in words.
I can clap the rhythm of the text.
I can clap the syllables in words with one, two or three syllables.
I can classify words into groups according to the number of syllables.
Role of the Reader
Text decoder – applying syllabification knowledge to decoding text
- Read I Went Walking to the students, encouraging choral reading of the text.
- Repeat the reading, encouraging students to read along and clap to the rhythm of the text.
- Have the text written on long sentence strips and use a pointer to highlight syllables. Students clap along to the rhythm and identify the words that have two claps (two syllables) – walking, looking, yellow
- Read again and use different body percussion for one and two syllable words.
- Read again and students use percussion instruments to highlight syllables.
- Students focus on the colour of the animals and find the colours that have two claps.
- Follow up activity: Students classify objects or pictures according to the number of syllables.
Ask students to clap out parts of the text.
For beginning readers, syllables can be identified through claps and discussed as ‘the claps in words’. Once students are comfortable with the concept, the term syllables can be used.