Teaching a child to rhyme is phonological awareness. Teaching a child to connect auditory rhymes to the written word is phonics. Both are essential skills when teaching a young child to read and both can be taught through word families!
Rhyming is an important literacy skill. Children become familiar with rhymes through songs and rhyming books. As students begin to match, generate, and produce rhymes, they are able to focus more on the sounds within words.
While most students develop the ability to rhyme through games, songs, and books, some students struggle with rhyming. Approaching rhymes through word families can be beneficial for those students. Teaching word families can also get struggling readers on-track quickly as they become familiar with patterns that are within similar words. Sounding out each word provides decoding practice. Furthermore, when students recognize the pattern of a phonogram, the number of words they can read increases significantly.
Whether you use a commercial product, purchased games, or just write a word family list on the board, you can reinforces the skill of word families. Have your students read or decode each word individually, then read through the entire list quickly. Help students notice not only that the middle and end sounds are the same, but also that the letters for those sounds are the same.
Word families are a simple way to reinforce rhyming and practice decoding. Pick a different word family every day and have some reading fun! I love to use these adorable anchor charts as the jumping point for a word family introduction followed by making the interactive little book. The next day, I will practice that same word family with a worksheet or an interactive writing activity using whiteboards.
Want to learn more? Click here to listen to our podcast episode all about rhyming!