Saturday, November 17, 2012

Explorar las expectativas: Alliteration

Many dual language/bilingual teachers are often asked to follow a monolingual English language arts curriculum or scope & sequence and are on their own to decipher the differences that may be necessary for teaching language arts in Spanish.  This can be a scary undertaking because it takes time and a deeper understanding of literacy in both languages as well as an understanding of biliteracy transfer between the two languages.  I do not possess a perfect understanding of any of these things but I do have the benefit of many years as a bilingual teacher, a graduate degree in Reading, and lots of time asking questions of smart people. So, I am going to begin a series titled Explorar las expectativas where we will look at some of the standards that are delineated in this document that compares and contrasts Texas's Spanish and English Language Arts TEKS.  Please keep in mind that this is my growing understanding of these standards and I welcome your input and feedback!

Okay, let's start at the very beginning (in more ways than one)...

Beginning Reading Skills/Phonological Awareness:

Spanish Language Arts & Reading TEKS:  K2(E) recognize spoken alliteration or groups of words that begin with the same initial sound (e.g., "Pepe Pecas pica papas");
English Language Arts & Reading TEKS:  K2(E) recognize spoken alliteration or groups of words 
that begin with the same spoken onset or initial sound (e.g., “baby boy bounces the ball”);

The key word in both of the expectations above is SPOKEN.  Lessons and activities tied to this expectation should be able to be accomplished in a dark room with eyes closed!  Okay, so that would probably not be a good idea but keep in mind that phonological awareness activities involve the ears and not the eyes.  I want to point this out because if you search "alliteration" on Pinterest, you will find LOTS of precious charts on alliteration but they are not for this level.  

At this level, students are learning to differentiate between rhyming (words sounds the same at the end) and alliteration (words sound the same at the beginning).  This can be a hard skill and is definitely one that develops over time as I am seeing with my own preschoolers at home.  One way we can help children accelerate their understanding of these two concepts is by using the actual terms alliteration and rhyme.  

My daughter regularly tells me things like: "Mouse and Mommy...those two words rhyme!"  I answer her with something like:  "Mouse and Mommy sound they same at the BEGINNING so they have ALLITERATION.  Let's think of a word that would rhyme with!  House and mouse sound the same at the END so they are words that RHYME."  

Over time, these conversations have enabled her to correctly differentiate rhyming versus alliteration most of the time AND her two-year-old sister gets it almost all of the time too because she loves to eavesdrop!

Here are some examples of alliteration in tongue twisters or trabalenguas:
  • Pepe Pecas pica papas con un pico.  Con un pico pica papas Pepe Pecas.
  • Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en un triste trigal en tres tristes trastos.
  • Papas y papas para papá, papas y papas para mamá.
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers?  If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
  • She sells sea shells down by the sea shore.
  • A big black bug bit a big black bear, made the big black bear bleed blood.
Here is an excellent resource in Spanish with ideas for practicing alliteration with Pre-K or Kindergarten students (look at pages 9-12 of the PDF).  I especially like the substitution game with "La hormiga".  It would be a fun transition activity with the name of the King/Queen of the Day.

Do you have other favorite alliterations that you like to introduce to your students for playing with initial sounds?  


  1. Great posts! Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. You are MOST welcome! Thanks for visiting and I love your new blog!


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