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  • Writer's pictureThe Literacy Lady

Counting Syllables

This month I am taking a deep dive into early literacy skills. My heart is in a kindergarten classroom. These kiddos are developing their most important skill of life...the ability to read!


Language development in kindergarten is a crucial milestone that sets the stage for a child's life in education. These little learners begin to explore the parts of words, from vocabulary to phonemes and syllables.


Identifying the number of syllables in a word promotes the development of phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is the ability to recognize and manipulate sounds within words. This skill is directly linked to early reading success. By identifying syllables, children learn to hear the distinct sounds that make up words, and this leads to early reading success.


Learning how to identify syllables, must come before identifying phonemes, or single sounds. Students need to hear the larger sounds within a word before diving deep and identifying even smaller units of sound. If students are not able to master syllable identification, do not move to phoneme identification.


Understanding syllables facilitates vocabulary expansion, as children can break down unfamiliar words into smaller, manageable parts. By identifying syllables, kindergarteners can recognize common word patterns, like prefixes -un or suffix -ed. This knowledge allows them to decode new words and make connections between words.


Since syllable identification is a phonemic awareness skills. There are so many easy activities to do in your classroom! I love clapping out syllables with my students every day in guided reading. There are other activities you can do like stomping out syllables with your feet or jumping into hula hoops for each syllables. You can get as creative as you want! I have even seen people use Pop Its for a hands on way to identify syllables. For older students I've noticed they enjoy humming syllable parts. This seems more age-appropriate for them! There are lots of fun and easy ways to practice syllable identification.


Sometimes we need our students to have some independent practice too. I have a Count the Syllable worksheets as a freebie below. Students simply look at the picture and count the syllables. They circle the number of syllables in each word. This is a great way to assess your students or keep them busy in a center or station!


These worksheets are part of one of my amazing resources for Words Their Way. I strongly suggest that you take a look at it, here! There's more early literacy skills targeted in this resource pack. For example, students practiced concepts, sorts, rhyming, letter, identification, and more.


The ability to identify the number of syllables in a word is a foundational skill that is essential for kindergarteners. It is so important to provide children with ample opportunities to practice and master this skill! Happy Teaching!




Count The Syllables Freebie!
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