Learning to read does not begin with formalized reading instruction. Research has shown that the key factor for long term success in reading is a child’s foundation in phonological awareness.


Phonological awareness is based on listening. It is primarily understanding that spoken language can be broken down into small units of sound. The child realizes that words are made up of individual sounds and that those sounds can be manipulated.  For example, the word “dog” is not a single unit but instead is made up of 3 distinct sounds: /d/ /o/ /g/.  Note that if I switch the first sound from /d/ to /f/, I change the entire meaning of the word. In order to engage in phonological activity, the child does not need to know which letter makes what sound. The concern is with the sounds themselves rather than the names of the letters that produce them.


In the Sunflower Class program this year, we are learning to listen as we sequence and segment sounds and recognizing rhymes through puppets, games and songs.  In order to supplement our classroom work, I would like to share some of my favorite books for you to read with your child.  These books offer wonderful rhymes and word play. Be sure to point at the words as you read – this teaches a child the skill of tracking. Enjoy!


Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

The Hungry Thing by Jan Stepian

Cock-a-Doodle-Moo! By Bernard Most

Llama Llama Red Pajamas by Anna Dewdney

Silly Sally by Audrey Wood

How Do Dinosaurs say Goodnight by Jane Yolen

The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

What about Moose? By Corey Rosen Schwartz

My Truck is Stuck by Kevin Lewis

Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley

Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough

Bear Snores by Karma Wilson