Last week, I shared four guidelines and a recommended sequence for introducing letters. Today we will continue with a great reading game that focuses on the ever important, yet often overlooked, skill of phonemic awareness.

Reading Games Mr Tongues House LessonsLearntJournal


Reading Games: {Phonemic Awareness} Mr Tongue’s House

I’m so excited to share one of my favourite reading reading games today: Mr Tongue’s House. It’s a fantastic warm up to any reading session. It’s fun. It’s funny. It involves actions. It gets all the kids involved.

This reading game, Mr Tongue’s house is a phonemic awareness warm up game. It helps promote awareness of the sounds and movements involved in spoken language.

As children begin to learn to read, they need to have an awareness of how sounds are structured in words, and be able to manipulate these sounds.

An awareness of the sounds and movements involved in spoken language will help a child telescope sounds and segment words; necessary skills for reading.

Phonological awareness helps children hear the larger units of spoken language as well as the smaller parts. So, they are able to hear and manipulate syllables, onsets and rimes; (thus allowing them to rhyme and alliterate).

Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness. It hears and manipulates individual sounds within words. Phonemic awareness breaks down spoken words into tiny abstract sounds called phonemes. Phonemic awareness skills lays the groundwork for later reading skills, such a sounding out words and blending.

Phonemic awareness is not the same thing as phonics. Phonemic awareness involves the ability to (only) hear and manipulate sounds; there are no letters of the alphabetic writing system involved. Phonics instruction is where sounds are linked with letters.

Phonological and phonemic awareness exercises are purely oral acitivities. The child listens to sounds and responds. No words or letters are read.

This reading game, Mr Tongue’s house is an oral activity, where children listen to the story and sounds and respond with appropriate sounds and actions.

Reading Games Mr Tongues House LessonsLearntJournal 02


Lessons Learnt Journal


January 2013
N&M: 4 years, 8 months


If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment; I’d love to hear from you.
If you are new here, you might like to subscribe to our RSS feed or receive updates direct to your email. We have many fun ideas to share.


Lessons Learnt Journal

About the author

Pauline Pauline & Lessons Learnt Journal is all about life with kids. Pauline is an Aussie mum and teacher who shares her love for play, math games, writing and reading activities. She believes that #playmatters, values curiosity & wonder, wisdom, obedience and respect. She also needs naps. When not blogging, she may be found virtually hoarding on Pinterest, trying to decide which Instagram filter to apply, or compulsively refreshing her Facebook feed.

Tagged with →