Teaching phonemes at kindergarten

25 Mar SAV No Comments

Hello there, thanks for visiting this blog on teaching phonemes to kindergarten children.

If you are being asked to teach reading and writing to preschool kids then it's useful to start with sounds, or phonemes. Teaching phonemic script to preschoolers would be a bit of an overkill, but the sounds of phonemes, with words they occur in could help, especially for pupils who don't know our alphabet.


Start by having children clap syllables of their own names in their native language. Children say their name and clap each syllable as they say it.


Then teach a phoneme, such as 'f' for fish. Teach the sound ffffff and combine it with fish, finger, four and five. Play vocabulary games from my preschool games book with those four words so kids learn the vocabulary (understanding it through listening games, saying it through speaking games). Now have kids say f-f-f-f-f-f-f-fish and mime being a fish, f-f-f-f-f-f-ive and hold up five fingers, and so on.

The teache says 'fish' broken down into three sounds - f - i - sha.  The kids say 'fish'. Then swap. If kids can break words down into sounds it'll help them learn to read, eventually!

Chant a rhythm like 'fish in the sea, fish in the sea, fish in the sea, fish in the sea, great white wha-le, great white wha-le.

Have kids make an 'f' with their body. One person can do this using both arms, or check the picture for an F made by two people


Next show them how to write the 'f' sound. Have kids trace the letter f - You can find some fonts here: http://www.fontspace.com/category/kindergarten

Download to your computer and make worksheets with the letters using this font so kids can easily trace over them.

For example:

Or this one:

Then in the next lesson teach a new letter, in the same way. This way you will gradually teach how to write most of the letters of the alphabet through sounds. I would do a little of this in every lesson, and then use stories and songs, and role-play for the rest of the lesson.

Draw and decorate the letters of the alphabet (you are teaching the sounds, not the letters) as you learn them and put them up around the classroom. Then you can play games with kids running to the sound you say, or taking down the letters to make words with them. Just type 'F for fish colouring' and hey presto, you'll find free ones, like this one below:

f for fish colouring

You might want to get a book to guide you in more detail, these look useful: https://www.amazon.com/Phonemic-Awareness-Young-Children-Curriculum/dp/1557663211/


All the best

Shelley Ann Vernon

Teaching English Games - Preschool games book for the classroom


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