Concept of Spoken Word

Estimated reading: 2 minutes

One of the first skills that students begin to learn is the concept of a spoken word. When children are first listening to oral language, sentences may sound like one long word. Students need to be taught that sentences are made up of words. For example, I might say the sentence: I like apples. How many words are in that sentence? (3) 

The more words that have multiple syllables, the more challenging this might be. For instance, I might say the sentence: Yesterday, I cried. How many words are in that sentence? Still three. However, students might think of “yesterday” as three words instead of one. 

To help teach children this skill, there are several multi-sensory activities in Interventions for All: Phonological Awareness on pages 50-55. These activities are arranged by tiers. Tier 1 activities will be a little more complex than tier 2 or 3 activities. However, with some differentiation, you can do any of the activities with any group of students. Adjust the amount of modeling and time spent when differentiating. 

Several of the activities list a literature connection. You can tie this into the new concept you are teaching. For example, if I’m teaching ‘c’ says /k/, I could do the “Clap the Words” activity on page 51 and incorporate the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This could be an oral reading activity.