Phonological Awareness: Animal Sounds

What was that?  Detecting environmental and animal sounds, listening to them, and then identifying these sounds are auditory discrimination skills.  Recognizing and naming the animals are visual discrimination skills.

You Tube Video:  20 Amazing Animals sounds by oxbridge baby

Instinctively, we draw a child’s attention to the sounds in our environment and talk about the sounds we hear.  A ticking clock, footsteps, timers and the doorbell are common sounds.  Hearing a dog bark for the first time may startle a toddler or young child.  Generally, the parent/caregiver will reassure the child by responding with the knowledge that it was a dog.  A dog says,” Woof, woof.” (bow-wow, etc.)

It is good for the children to recognize,  and reproduce the sounds that animals make as they begin to train their ears to identify environmental sounds.

Click: What Sound Does this Animal Make? to find activities that identify animals and their sounds:

Games & Activities:

Identify the animal and it’s sound.

  • Each colored card identifies the animal. e.g.  A dog says, “_________.”
  • The blackline cards identify the animal. e.g.  What does a bear say?
  • Talk about where the animals might live.
  • Move like the animal.

Game: What am I?

  • Hand out animal cards to children in the group/class.
  • One child makes the animal sound and other children guess the animal name.  e.g. What am I?  I say, “Tweet, tweet.”

Game: What’s my sound?

  • Hand out animal cards to children in the group/class.
  • One child identifies his animal and the others make the animal sound. e.g. “I am a dog.  What’s my sound?”

Headband Game: (Divide the class into equal groups of  4-6 children.)

  • With the identity of the animal unknown, each player is given a headband with an animal picture on it.
  • Players in the group provide descriptive clues to each other in order to help a player identify his animal and its sound. (e.g. You are brown. You live in a jungle.)
  • All children in the group need to correctly identify the headband they are wearing by the sound the animal on their headband makes.

Concentration Game:

  • Turn both the colored and outline cards upside down.
  • Match the animal to its outline!

Literacy Center Ideas

  • Play with the animal and sound cards at the listening station.
  • Color your own animal cards to take home.

Click to learn more about this activity that can be lots of fun:  What am I?


  • Each person turns the wheel and says, “I live in the jungle. What am I? or  “I am an insect.  What am I?”  (Visual Discrimination)  The child with the correct guess, asks the next question.   Suggestion: All children in the group must have a turn to ‘ask the question’, before a player gets a second turn.
  •  One child says, “I live on the farm. I say moo-moo.  What am I?”  (Auditory Discrimination) The other children in the group identify the animal by it’s sound.
  •  Talk about the animals.  Discuss their habitat.  What makes them different?  What sound do they make?  Describe an animal.   Did you talk about it’s color, shape and size?  If the person trying to guess the animal is still having trouble,  mention it’s sound.   Can someone guess which  animal you are thinking about?

Have fun!


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