Category Archives: phonemic awareness / phonics

Poems that emphasize a particular sound. Phonemic awareness immerses the ears to listen and tongues to speak the sound, while phonics engages the eyes to read and hands to write.

What’s old is new again — even when it comes to garbage.

“Oh, the places you’ll go. The people you’ll meet.” Hey, it’s Dr. Seuss!dr seuss bio pic

And it’s THINK-THINK-THINK-ing Thursday!

Dr. Seuss would have liked joining us today, I THINK. Ya know, I should have asked him a few years back when he and I were shaking hands during autographing sessions for his and my books at adjacent tables. Ah, he’d like to THINK-THINK with us. I just know it.

WOW! A week flies by. We’ve gone places, done things, and met people. And as a week flies by, so the garbage piles up.recycle green pic

Okay, you may be in a mood such that right now you’d like to take that “garbage piles up” figuratively. But for some moments today, let’s THINK on it literally.

WOW! The recycling cans are full again!

And that thought leads me to THINK about the fact that I have seen our society’s concern for recycling…well, recycle itself. We’ll cycle back to that idea idr seuss cat in hat picn a bit here.

THINKing about recycling takes me to ways for you and your child to THINK and talk about recycling today. I’ll offer some writings to share with your child from toddler age to teenage.

It was in the late 1980’s and early 90’s when I first began to write about recycling for children’s needs and interests. As a visiting author and consultant, I traveled to school districts around the country.

Communities across this country were focusing on the benefits and how-to’s of recycling. We needed, folks said, to look for ways to reuse all sorts of our resources, both natural and manufactured.

Folks wanted their children to learn early on to THINK about our planet’s need for humans to do less tossing out. This meant that recycling became a hot topic in elementary schools. And publishers, writers, editors, and illustrators recognized the corresponding need for appropriate textbooks, library books, and classroom materials.

recycle logo picI and others began to include the topic in articles for textbooks, in poems, and in all sorts of children’s books. I began reading and reciting some of my writings about recycling each time I met with student and educator groups.

Children and teachers responded enthusiastically to any and every mention of recycling. Thus, I included “Earth Says” in a Poetry Works set of classroom materials with posters that, still today, grace classroom walls in schools here and abroad.

“Earth Says” also appeared on a bookmark. Then, I included the poem in my More Phonics through Poetry: Teaching Phonemic Awareness Using Poetry, this time to help children focus on the sound of a prefix before reading and writing its letter representation re-.spinning Earth pic

Earth Says
I’m giving you oodles of cues
To reduce, recycle, reuse.
It’s time to refuse
The choice to abuse
Or lose your freedom to choose.

Copyright © 1989 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
First published in Poetry Works: The Second Stanza by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz (Modern Curriculum Press/PearsonLearning, 1993).

Younger children’s enthusiasm for “Gobble, Gobble, Munch!” saw this poem published similarly in another poster kit, with a second appearance as a picture book. The poem was later included in a poetry collection that’s housed in homes, schools, and public libraries around the country.

Cover GobbleIMG_2648

Gobble, Gobble, Munch! by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

inside Gobble IMG_2654Gobble! Gobble! Munch!
Gobble, gobble, munch!
Gobble, gobble, munch!
What will you be serving
on your street for lunch?

Don’t serve me paper!
Don’t serve me cans!
Don’t serve me metal
or aluminum pans!

Don’t serve me plastic!
Don’t serve me glass!
I would rather munch on
egg shells or grass.

Gobble, gobble, munch!
Gobble, gobble, munch!
What will you be serving
this garbage truck for lunch?

Copyright © 1991 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
First published in Poetry Works: The First Verse by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz, (Modern Curriculum Press, PearsonLearning, 1992).

Times change. Interests change. And some time during the late 1990’s, I began noticing that the idea of recycling was not resonating with whole schools of children. That word was no longer on the tips of children’s tongues. WOW!

recycle earth picWearing my teacher hat, I continued to read and recite “Earth Says” and “Gobble, Gobble, Munch!” with nearly every group. Now, however, I needevintage red dress picd to follow up the readings with real teaching…to lead children toward an understanding of each poem’s context. Often I’d ask adults in the room if the community recycled. No, they didn’t. Hmmm.

Times change. Interests change. And just in these past few years, I’ve noticed that recycling has recycled itself! WOW! Whole schools of children are again versed on the word and its concept. Children tend to know about the need for and the how-to’s of recycling.

Yes. Items get recycled. That we know. I hope you and your child will have some fun naming such items in your home. Today and every day.Cool Cat pic

And then you can do some oral sorting out to exclude those items that may be biodegradable. Yes! Do make sure to use that big word with your child from age 3. Because children find that big word fun to say! And I promise you’ll soon hear your young child saying the word while sorting recyclables! WOW!

Aside from items and the concept of recycling, itself, lots of ideas and behaviors get recycled. THINK and TALK with your child recycle logo2about how fads and fashions come and go. TALK about hair styles, “cool” words that cool kids utter, or potluck dishes like the ones I tasted at a pool party last week. Hmmm. Those recipes from the 70’s struck folks of all ages––right here and now in 2009––as being mouth-wateringly new!Daddy-o pic

I leave you today with thoughts of recycling…items, fads, foods, behaviors, what-have-you. Enjoy your day of THINKing and TALKing about recycling with your child! While you’re at it, try recycling fun together with an old toy or book or game.

And tune in here tomorrow for a bit more about recycling…and some Free-for-All Friday frolicking fun!

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Filed under adult literacy programs, ages 3 and 4, ages 5 and 6, ages 7 and 8, ages 8 and up, author school visits, community involvement toward building children's literacy, comprehension skills, early literacy, ESL / Bilingual, family literacy, infants & toddlers, kids, kids of all ages, parenting around kid behaviors, parenting poems, phonemic awareness / phonics, poems for kids, read-aloud, science, social studies

How to have grace when your child says “gwace”. (Hint: Poetry comes to the rescue.)

It’s TALKing Tuesday! But, you say, you TALK with your child every day.

Yes! But on TALKing Tuesday, we focus on a particular way to talk…to help your child build his/her personal storehouse of language and knowledge. Why? Because those are the two critical pre-requisites for success in reading and writing. WOW!

Graceful Gracie Gratefully Grinning So, on this TALKing Tuesday, we’ll begin by harking back to a post one day last week here when we met one of three Gracie ladies I know. There she is, grinning gratefully with her grinning smiley-face basketball.

I’ll pause here a moment to give a real shout-out to this Gracie lady since she’s my dear mother…and since she’s likely the reason I am a writer today. You see, I grew up watching her read the daily paper each morning at the breakfast table…where she’d also pen a letter every day to some one of our many far-off relatives (Some lived just ten miles away, but that was far away in those days!).

I also share today that bit of personal backstory because I want to emphasize to you the huge importance of modeling for your child. WOW! Your child is always watching! So, model reading for enjoyment! Model reading to learn new information! Model writing notes, lists, letters, what-have-you!

Gracie grinning gracefully!

Gracie grinning gracefully!

And you’re also getting to meet the other two Gracie ladies today. We’ll pause here to give a big shout-out to young Gracie, a rising 1st grader whom I met while at Lilac Elementary School in Valley Center CA last month. Our third Grace, grandmother Grace Viola Smith 1883-1944of Lilac Elementary teacher Jeri, lived in 1883-1944 and resided in areas of Indiana and Illinois.

WOW! Wouldn’t you agree you’ve just met three Gracie ladies who are full of grace!

Okay, I’ll bet you’ve figured out by now our TALKing focus for today. Yes, it’s to focus on the sound of /gr/ as in grin or Grace. So let’s look at a couple of /gr/ poems that you’ll want to read aloud to your young child.

When you help your child focus on repeatedly hearing and saying a particular sound of language, your child is building an awareness of that sound. This phonemic awareness practice prepares your child for phonics, when we ask the eyes to read and the hands to write letters that represent that sound.

So, read aloud and then reread these three poems to help your child build oral awareness of the sound of /gr/. Then we’ll look at a couple of fun ways you and your child can play with the sound of /gr/ today and every day this week, or longer.

By the way, as long as your child is engaged and having fun, it’s never too early to introduce individual sounds orally. And you’ll find your child who’s older than age 8 will enjoy the humor and the repeated sound in these poems. When in doubt, try it out. Your child will let you know if you’re on track…or off.

Growing . . . Graying . . . Gone!Phonics Through Poetry by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz, available at http://ilikeme.com/ReadingRealmOrderForm.htm
My sister groans,
“My hair won’t grow!”
My mother groans,
“It’s gray!”
My grandpa grins,
“Be grateful, Folks.
Mine grew and grayed . . . away.”

Copyright © 1999 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
First published in Phonics Through Poetry: Teaching Phonemic Awareness Using Poetry by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. Good Year Books.

Grins or Groans?
When Gregory loses
and Gracie wins,
Gregory groans,
but Gracie––she grins.

When Gracie’s the loser
and Gregory wins,
then Gracie’s the groaner
while Gregory grins.

When Gregory wins
and when Gracie—she wins,
Then nobody groans!
And everyone grins!

Copyright © 2004 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. First time published.

And a third poem to emphasize the sound of /gr/!

This next rhyme is from one of three poster sets titled Listen! Listen! Letter Sounds in Rhyme. I designed these classroom kits to give children easy rhymes to sing or say while building phonemic awareness skills, and then to be able to call upon a familiar little song when, in phonics, they meet the sound’s corresponding letter(s) in print.

Yes, in these kits there’s a poster and a new rhyme for every sound in our language! And all can be sung to familiar tunes, “Miss Lucy Had a Baby” or “Eensy Weensy Spider.” When using the latter tune, you’ll notice, the song begs to be sung again and again.

This particular /gr/ rhyme keeps with our sound focus today to help your child notice the sound of /gr/ in words. It also builds on your child’s ability to discriminate between sounds, in this case between the sounds of /gr/ and /gl/.

Listen covers

Listen! Listen! Letter Sounds in Rhyme

I hear this sound in grapefruit

I hear this sound in grapefruit,
Grandpa, groom, and grass;
And grandma, grapes,
And graph and grill,
But is this sound in glass?

Copyright © 2000 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
From Listen! Listen! Letter Sounds in Rhyme: Blends and Digraphs by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. The Wright Group/McGraw Hill.

More Fun with the Sound of /gr/

As you and your child journey through your busy days, occupy yourselves to challenge one another to name words in which you hear the sound of /gr/ as in grin. Later, add to the challenge to name two or more /gr/ words, such as green grass or graceful grey grandpa, that go together to make sense.

A behavior-managing tip: Try substituting your child’s name in the Grins or Groans? poem when you sense a groaning loser or you want to help remind a winner who may be grinning in a…well, bragging sort of way.

And remember: The more you and your young child play orally with a sound of language, the more success your child will experience later in reading and writing words that include the letters gr. WOW! Have fun with language sounds!

Tune in tomorrow on Wacky Wednesday to see what turns up being all wacky!

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Filed under adult literacy programs, ages 3 and 4, ages 5 and 6, ages 7 and 8, ages 8 and up, author school visits, community involvement toward building children's literacy, comprehension skills, early literacy, ESL / Bilingual, family literacy, infants & toddlers, kids, kids of all ages, parenting around kid behaviors, phonemic awareness / phonics, poems for kids, read-aloud