LearningTip #18:
Make Phonics Fun with Tongue Twisters

By Joyce Melton Pagés, Ed.D.
Educator, President of KidBibs

The KidBibs Virtual Bookstore!
For the convenience of our readers, and in association with Amazon.com, KidBibs offers the following related resources for secure on-line purchase:
 

For 5- to 8-year olds
Oh Say Can You Say? by Dr. Seuss 
She Sells Seashells by the Seashore: A Tongue Twister Story by Grace Kim
Busy Buzzing Bumblebees: And Other Tongue Twisters by Alvin Schwartz

Professional Book for Teachers
Phonics They Use by Patricia Cunningham

For 9- to 12-year-olds
Six Sick Sheep: One Hundred One Tongue Twisters by Joanna Cole

For Children Who Speak Spanish
Grandmother's Nursery Rhymes/Las Nanas de Abuelita:  Lullabies, Tongue Twisters, and Riddles from South America/Canciones de Cuna, Trabalenguas Y Adiv by Nelly Palacio Jaramillo
Mexican Tongue Twisters:  Trabalenguas Mexicanos by Robert J. Haddad

  

Tongue twisters are tongue-tangling sentences that have a number of words starting with the same sound. Whether "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers" while "Susie's sister sipped seven sodas swiftly," tongue twisters can help children learn phonics in fun, meaningful ways.  Consonants are the most phonetically consistent sounds in the English language.  Further, tongue twisters support an awareness of  how language works.  A quick look at the tongue twisters mentioned earlier shows sentences with easily identifiable nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.  Finally, the humor in tongue twisters helps children focus on meaning while reinforcing their understanding of phonics and sentence structure.

ResearchBit:  Good readers use phonics, language cues, and meaning to identify words while they're reading.

These three types of cues make up cueing systems that the reader uses to process written information.  Effective instruction must support student utilization of the three cueing systems in an integrated way; no single cueing system is reliable enough to support the reader in all situations.  Tongue twisters support the learning of phonics within the context of syntactic information and fun, motivating meaning!  

                                        Teacher Tips                 Parent Tips                  Homeschooling Tips
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Teacher Tips

1.  In Phonics They Use, Patricia Cunningham recommends the following strategy for reviewing consonants.  First, say the tongue twister and have the students repeat them after you (without letting students see the words).   Next, have students say the tongue twisters as fast as they can and as slowly as they can.  When students have said them enough times to have them memorized, have them watch you write them on a chart, poster, or sentence strip.  Underline the first letter of each word starting with the sound in a different color marker.  Have students read them several times.  Add one or two each day---always saying them first and writing only after students have memorized them.  After you write the new ones, review the old ones.  If you make a poster of each of your tongue twisters, you may want to choose a child to illustrate each.   Cunningham's book includes tongue twisters for teaching single consonants, consonant blends, and consonant digraphs.  She recommends that you use children's names from your class in the tongue twisters when they have the right letters and sounds.

2.  Have fun with tongue twisters.  Read tongue twisters.  Have children read tongue twister books to find their favorite tongue twister.  Have them write the tongue twister on a large sheet of paper and illustrate it.  This week's KidBibs Virtual Bookstore at the beginning of this article includes several good tongue twister books.

3.  Generate a list of words that begin with the sound being studied.  Have the students write a tongue twister as a class or in small groups.

4.  Have students generate a list of words that start with the sound at the beginning of their first name.  From that list of nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc., have them write a tongue twister using their name.

5.  For older students, reinforce phonics, build vocabulary, and strengthen the child's understanding of how language works having each child choose a different letter of the alphabet.  They may look at words in the dictionary starting with this letter to write a tongue twister.  Then have them illustrate their tongue twister.  These tongue twister pages may be shared within the class, put together in the form of a book, and shared with other classes.

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Parent Tips

1.  Have fun with tongue twisters.  Read tongue twisters.  Have children read tongue twister books to find their favorite tongue twister.  Have them write the tongue twister on a large sheet of paper and illustrate it.  They can put their tongue twister poster on the wall in their room.  This week's KidBibs Virtual Bookstore at the beginning of this article includes several good tongue twister books.

2.  Make up tongue twisters while traveling or riding in the car The first person thinks of the letter while other family members contribute words to the tongue twister.   Then the next person suggests a letter and the process continues.  Use names of family members, pets, etc. in the tongue twisters. 

3.  Have your child keep a Favorites File or notebook.   Put dividers in it separating sections for jokes, riddles, tongue twisters, fun facts, etc.  Encourage your child to read and find items to categorize and include in their Favorites File.

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Homeschooling Tips

1.  In Phonics They Use, Patricia Cunningham recommends the following strategy for reviewing consonants.  First, say the tongue twister and have your child repeat it after you (without letting him/her see the words).   Next, have your child say the tongue twisters as fast as they can and as slowly as they can.  When s/he had said them enough times to have them memorized, have him/her watch you write them on a chart, poster, or sentence strip.  Underline the first letter of the words (that start with that letter) in a different color marker.  Have the child  read them several times.  Add one or two each day---always saying them first and writing only after the child have memorized them.  After you write the new ones, review the old ones.  Have your child illustrate the tongue twister.  Cunningham's book includes tongue twisters for teaching single consonants, consonant blends, and consonant digraphs.  You could use the names of friends and family members in the tongue twisters when they have the right letters and sounds.

2.  Have fun with tongue twisters Read tongue twisters.  Have your child read tongue twister books to find their favorite tongue twister.  Have them write the tongue twister on a large sheet of paper and illustrate it.  They can put their tongue twister poster on the wall in their room.  This week's KidBibs Virtual Bookstore includes several good tongue twister books.

3.  Generate a list of words with your child that begin with a specific sound.  Have the child write a tongue twister for that sound.

4.  Make up tongue twisters while traveling or riding in the car The first person thinks of the letter while other family members contribute words to the tongue twisters.  Then the next person chooses a letter and the process continues.  Use names of family members, pets, etc. in the tongue twisters. 

5.  Have your child keep a Favorites File or notebook.   Put dividers in it separating sections for jokes, riddles, tongue twisters, fun facts, etc.  Encourage your child to read and find items to categorize and include in their Favorites File.

6.  Have your child generate a list of words that start with the sound at the beginning of their first name.  From that list of nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc., have them write a tongue twister using their name.

7.  For older children, reinforce phonics, build vocabulary, and strengthen the child's understanding of how language works by having the child choose a letter of the alphabet.  They may look at words in the dictionary, several tongue twister pages may be put together in the form of a book.

 

Have fun with tongue twisters!

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http://www.kidbibs.com/

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