Thursday, October 20, 2011


Syllabication is a fancy word I learned a long time ago but still have trouble pronouncing. That being said, the night before I was going to teach the concept to my children I had to practice saying the word so that I could, of course, teach my kids to say the word. After saying the word we sat down to business.

Before children are able to learn to break a word into syllables, they must learn to feel the syllables of the word. In our home we internalize syllables by clapping syllables, which is one of our favorite activities (our children walk around the rest of the day clapping syllables). For example, I say the word "chocolate". Then I repeat the word while clapping at each syllable break. Finally, I have the child say and clap with me. I repeat this process until the child (or children if I am teaching or reviewing with more than one) understands clapping syllables. To make the lesson more interesting, therefore producing greater potential for retention, I usually choose a group of words that would interest the child (presidents, gardening, animal names, food choices, etc.). In the case of this blog entry our words were ice cream flavors.
If you are a follower of my blog, you know I like to create games to make learning fun. For our syllable study, I designed a set of twelve ice cream cones each labeled with a flavor of ice cream. I also designed ice cream scoops. For the first version of the game, I had a player chose a cone and together we said the flavor. Then we clapped the syllables while saying the flavor. The child then placed the corresponding number of ice cream scoops on the cone. If the flavor was "vanilla" the child placed three scoops on the cone.

For the second version of the game, we placed the cones face down in the center of our play area. Player one took a cone from the cones in the center. That player said the word and selected the number of scoops to match the syllables verbalized.

Scoop-A-Syllable was a delicious way to learn syllabication. Perhaps the only thing better was a trip to our favorite ice cream venue. The sales person was tickled when one child clapped while she ordered. That's another story for another day.

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