Phonics - Teaching Vowel Sounds To Children Leaning to Read
Nov 28, 2011 Pronunciation/Phonics 2917 Views
When teaching children how to read using a phonic teaching programme there are various elements which need to be clearly understood. This article focuses on how to teach children the various different vowel sounds.
Rather fortunately, children are not faced with learning every permutation of every vowel all at once. Much like with consonants, if the vowel is presented correctly then the child will soon understand that this single letter can serve as a building block to make other words and sounds.
It is highly effective to teach the sound a letter makes in conjunction with a drawing of illustration of a thing or object starting with that same word. So for example to teach "a" you can associate the letter with a drawing of an apple and emphasis the sound this letter makes at the beginning of this word. As the child's pregress advances you can begin to incorporate the letter within a word, so for example the word "bat", focusing on the "aa" sound in the middle of this word.
The vowels can be split into two categories for ease. These categories reflect the way the vowel sounds when used in a word, namely as a short or long vowel.
Examples of long and short vowels:
"a" as in "bat", "cat" and "hat"
"e" as in "pen", "hen" and "egg"
"i" as in "mit", "hit" and "kick"
"o" as in "sock", "block" and "on"
"u" as in "tub", "up" and "rub"
"ay" as in "game", "frame" and "pain"
"ee" as in "feet", keep" and "wheel"
"iy" as in "slide" and "fire"
"ow" as in "rose", "bowl" and "hold"
"uu" as in "ruler"
Remember when teaching letters at an early stage that lower case letters are preferable. When the child has mastered lower case letters sufficiently then upper case letters should be introduced. Classrooms should look to have wall charts showing both lower and upper case letters so the child can gain familiarity over time.
Vowel charts are available in a number of stores. Schools would buy them directly from their educational materials providers, but they can also be bought for home use from specialist phonics outlets, particularly online. Children love to be creative, so why not try creating your own vowel chart with your child which will include the letter and an illustration. They will then enjoy colouring this chart in and displaying on their bedroom wall.
The Follifoot Farm collection of Phonic Books are written and illustrated by respected UK phonic author Marlene Greenwood. To view or buy her collection of books and other resources visit http://www.follifootfarm.co.uk today.