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Listening ability is an important pre-reading skill. We need to be able to listen and hear the sounds of letters and how they combine to make other sounds.
We can build listening skills by:
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- Playing rhyming word games
- Doing activities which have one-step directions; then two-step directions; finally three-step directions
- Gather objects that make different sounds; let the child become familiar with their sounds, then have him/her close their eyes while you make a sound with one object. Let them guess which object was sounded
- Play animal sound lotto
- Secretly give a bell to one child. Have all pretend to ring a bell. The child who is "it" will guess where the sound came from
- Play a different kind of music each day at lunch. Have discussions on whether the children like or dislike that kind of music
- Play "Doggie, doggie, where's your bone?" The child who is sitting in the chair must listen to hear when someone is creeping up to get his bone
- Occasionally give information in a teeny, tiny voice so everyone has to listen very hard to hear it
- Take nature walks and listen carefully for sounds you hear. Write them down and the next day try to imitate them in school (helps build memory skills, too)
- Ask questions before you read a story so children will be listening for the answer
- Have the listening center ready for use