Walk down the aisles of a dollar store during the holidays and it is easy to fill a cart full of treasures that can be used for literacy activities throughout the year.
A few weeks ago I picked up a package of toy spiders and we used them for our Itsy Bitsy Rhyming Spider activity. Today, I have another literacy activity to share. Let’s work on phonemic awareness.
Phonemic awareness is the ability to break a word down into its individual speech sounds (example: the word bug is made up of three separate phonemes- /b/ /u/ and /g/).
Teaching kids about phonemic awareness is typically done through oral language activities that are playful and fun.
Today we have a spider themed activity that uses elkonin boxes or sound boxes.
Spider Web Phonemic Awareness Activity
This activity children will practice segmenting or separating the phonemes (sounds) they hear in a word. This is all done orally with no visual representation of the letters. If you use letters then the activity turns into a phonics activity which is ok, but we are working on developing phonemic awareness skills here!
Remember we learn to listen and speak before we learn to read and write.
Preparing the Activity
1. You will need a spider web sound box for each child.
Download the FREE Spider Web Sound Box Printable HERE!
You could also draw 3 boxes on a blank sheet of paper and that would work just fine.
2. Pick up a small bag of toy spiders. During the fall season, you will find them at almost any store that carries decorations. We got ours at Target. You will need three spiders for this activity.
Ready to Play
Place each spider on the fence post.
Say a word with three sounds (phonemes). Here are some ideas to get you started.
bug, cat, top, net, man, dig, bed, him, cot, rug, wish, dash, chop, thin
Have your child stretch the word out into phonemes. I like to say, “Stretch it out like a rubber band.” As the child says the first sound, they push a spider into the first web. Continue for all three sounds.
If the word is fun, the child would say /f/ and push the first spider into the web. Then, /u/ and push the second spider up into the web. Finally, /n/ and push the last spider into the last web.
Pull the spiders back down onto the fence posts and repeat with a new word.
Notice that just because a word has four letters doesn’t mean it has four phonemes. Dish is /d/,/i/, /sh/.
It is important that we model the correct sound for each phoneme. Be careful not to add additional sounds. For example, the sound we use to represent the letter d is /d/ not /duh/. Here is a video where I model the correct way to say each sound.
For more playful phonological awareness activities, check out these ideas!