Author: Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo

5-Year-Olds Concept

Developing phonological awareness in a beginning reader requires many skills. In “Take Away the A,” the authors use clever illustrations to demonstrate the removal of letters and sounds from words — creating completely new words with new meanings. Use this book to play with words and sounds to strengthen your child’s pre-reading skills.

Before, During and After Reading

Phonological Awareness and Letter Knowledge

Tell your child that this book is about removing a letter or sound from a word in order to create a new word. Before you read, use your child’s name to help him understand what you will be doing as you read the story. 

Write your child’s name on a sheet of paper and ask:

Whose name is this? 

Now, cover the first letter of your child’s name and say:

Your name is JAKE. If we take the J away from JAKE, your name would be AKE. Jake without J is just AKE. Is your name AKE? No! Let’s put the letter J back. Now your name is JAKE!

Read the title of the book. As you point and track under the word, Away, say:

This word says, AWAY. If we take away the first A (cover the A with your finger), we have a new word. AWAY without A is just WAY. I think this is going to be a silly book!

Letter Knowledge

Each page of the book presents a letter of the alphabet. Touch the letter and ask your child if he knows the letter name and letter sound:

What is the name of this letter?  What sound does it make?

Touch the words as you read the sentence and show your child how the word changes. For example:

This word says DICE, and this word says ICE. Look what happens when I take away the D from DICE (cover the D with your finger). The new word is ICE.  

Phonological Awareness

After you read the story together, try these At-Home Activities, perfect for building phonological awareness in 5-year-olds: 

Explore other recommended children’s books and reading activities for five-year-olds, or take the Reading BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener. The screener can help you determine if your child is on the path to reading readiness, and provides a free plan for moving forward.