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Word-a-Likes

Description

Word-a-Likes is a strategy that helps young readers develop phonemic awareness. In particular, this strategy helps readers learn to distinguish single sounds from blends. To use this strategy, the teacher reads two sentences. The first sentence should include many words that begin with the same single sound. The second sentence should include many words that begin with the same blend. The students then discuss the sounds that they heard.

Purpose

Word-a-likes encourages phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the knowledge that different sounds can be combined to form different words. The student who can distinguish between single sounds and blends (when he or she hears them) has an awareness of phonemes (sounds). Phonemic awareness is a basic building block for phonics. (Phonics is the relationship between sounds and letters.)

How to Use Word-a-Likes

Word-a-Likes is a strategy that helps young readers develop phonemic awareness. In particular, this strategy helps readers learn to distinguish single sounds from blends. To use this strategy, the teacher reads two sentences. The first sentence should include many words that begin with the same single sound. The second sentence should include many words that begin with the same blend. The students then discuss the sounds that they heard.

  1. Make up a sentence that uses several words that begin with the same sound. For example: “A tall teacher told a tale about a tiger.” Read the sentence aloud several times.
  2. Ask students to tell how some of the words in your sentence are alike.
  3. Make up a sentence that uses several words that begin with the same blend.The blend should begin with the same sound as the single sound in your first sentence. For example: “A troll tried to train on a trampoline but tripped.” Read the sentence aloud several times.
  4. Ask students to tell how some of the words in your sentence are alike.
  5. Read both sentences to your students.“A tall teacher told a tale about a tiger."
    “A troll tried to train on a trampoline but tripped.”
  6. Ask students to tell how the words in both sentences are alike and how they are different.
  7. Repeat steps 1 through 6 with other pairs of sentences. Here are some you can try:“The dog next door dances down the street.”“The dragon drinks from the dribbling hose Drew dropped on his driveway.”“Fanny found the food and finished eating first.”“Frank the friendly frog gave free fruit to his friend.”“Peter picked a pig for a perfect pet.”“Please place the plastic plate on the platter.”“Someone sat on Sally’s silk socks.”“Steven stood on the step and stared at the stars.” 
  8. Use this strategy several times throughout the school year. Keep a record of how individual students progress by using a chart like the one below. (optional)

Student's name: Excellent:

Distinguishes Single Sounds from Blends
Developing:
Distinguishes some Single Sounds from Blends
Minimal:
Cannot Distinguish Single Sounds from Blends
Date:
    Exclnt   Develop   Min  
    Exclnt   Develop   Min  
    Exclnt   Develop   Min  
    Exclnt   Develop   Min  
    Exclnt   Develop   Min  
    Exclnt   Develop   Min  

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