Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Poetry Rocks!

Yesterday I talked about how many kids struggle with decoding. One way I have found that works well with kids is poetry and rhymes. There are so many great books written in don't have to check out a huge anthology of poems.

Let me tell you what I do with one book, and you can change/adapt it to fit books your child would enjoy.

I LOVE the book Waking Beauty, by Leah Wilcox. It is a humorous rendition of the traditional Sleeping Beauty, which most kids are familiar with. In this version, however, a dense prince doesn't understand that he must KISS her, and goes through some alternative methods to wake her, much to her three fairies' dismay. It is written in rhyme, so the rhythm will also help your kids with fluency.

Why use it with decoding? Because there is rhyme. There are patterns in the words that rhyme. That will give additional support with sounding out and noticing chunks in words.

Another thing you can do is use Dr. Seuss books. They tend to focus on a specific pattern in the book (i.e. Hop on Pop) - either type up portions of the text and have them underline all the "op" patterns, or there is also some cool neon removable book covers I have used, where I cut small squares and the kids simply go stick the neon where they find the pattern.

Point is, the more they see the pattern, the more they will start to notice it. When they get to other words, for example "operation" -- you can point out that it begins with that pattern they were working on.

An additonal stretch after you have focused on a specific pattern (let's stick with op), have them brainstorm any words they know with that pattern and write them down. Or better yet, have them pick up another book and do a search for any words that have that pattern in them.

This may seem tedious, but trust me, if you fill in these gaps, the decoding will start to fly. They will start to blend those letters together.
They are called onsets and rimes - and they are more common than you think!

Here are a few good ones to start with:
There are many more.

Also, you can do the same sort of thing with the blends -

Try using poetry. It is fun to read at all ages, and they will get a good chance to work on those words!

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