We know that the abilities to listen and speak precede reading and
writing. With this in mind, word play known as sound manipulation can be used
to help strengthen reading and writing when children are ready to do so. Oral
language play like this can be fun for adult and child when they are traveling
together or at home. It takes no equipment - just a basic understanding on the
part of the adult.
The third type of sound manipulation needs an understanding that a
one-syllable word or sound is also known as a phoneme. This refers to a group
of letters making a sound together.
There are six different approaches to helping children to work with
Think of words that start the same way. Examples include cat and kite,
and give, first and phone. Note that the similarities are by sound and not by
spelling. When the children get older, they learn that these sounds may have
different spellings. But with the younger children we are working with
matter what letters spell them.
What sounds do you hear at the beginning of words such as bug (/b/),
hop (/h/), and toy (/t/)? Note that children are repeating the sound, rather
the names of the letters.
What word would you have if you changed the /ch/ in chain to /r/; the
/p/ in pill to /f/; and the /s/ in sit to /f/?
What word would you have if you put these sounds together:
/p/-/l/-/a/-/n/ (plan); /f/-/l/-/a/-/t/ (flat); /s/-/t/-/r/-/i/-/n/-/g/
Tell the parts that you hear in these words: glass (/g/-/l/-/a/-/s/); up
(/u/-/p/); town (/t/-/ow/-/n/)
Say these word without the first sounds: meat without the /m/; house
without the /h/; pen without the /p/. When words rhyme and are also spelled
similarly, children can learn many words by knowing one pattern, such as:
feat, heat, meat, seat; house, mouse, blouse, spouse; pen, Ben, den, hen, Jen,
Len, men, pen, ten.