Friday, February 24, 2012

Phonemic Awareness Freebie

Please welcome Julie Van Alst as my first Guest Blogger! 

What is phonemic awareness?
Before children learn to read, they must first understand that words are made up of speech sounds that can be blended together to form words. The ability to hear and manipulate sounds in words is known as phonemic awareness. The National Reading Panel (2000) identified phonemic awareness and letter knowledge as the best two predictors of how well a child will learn to read in the first two years of school. Children who develop strong phonemic awareness skills at an early age are more likely to become fluent readers and better spellers than children who do not.
By the end of kindergarten, children should be able to:


  • Identify whether two words rhyme (hat/mat, sun/bug)

  • Provide a word that rhymes with another word ("tell me a word that rhymes with 'sun'")

  • Blend syllables into a word (cup-cake "cupcake")

  • Provide the first sound in a word ("what is the beginning sound in 'fish'? "/f/")

  • Segment, or break apart, a 2-3 sound word ("hat"- /h//a//t/)
How can I help my students develop phonemic awareness skills?
  • Sing songs and read books which include rhyme.


  • Have a scavenger hunt where your students find objects or pictures in a magazine which begin with a certain sound.

  • Play the "I Spy" game with beginning sounds in words ("I spy a word that begins with /t/").

  • Have your students guess the word that you sound out slowly ("sssssuuuunnnn")

  • Provide your students with blocks (or a similar item) and have them move a block for each sound in a given word.

  • Have your students hop the sounds in words. Say a word and have the students jump once for each sound in the word. I've seen teachers place 3-4 hula hoops on the floor and the students hop from one hoop to another for each sound.

  • Provide your students with blocks (or a similar item), say a word and then a sound in the word. Their job is to move the block representing the position of the sound in the word ("cat /a/"-students move the middle block).
Doggie, Where's My Bone? and Doggie Sound Switch are two activities that help students identify the position of sounds in words. Click the link below to download this freebie!
Visit the Freebie tab on my blog, www.blog.maketaketeach.com for teacher and parent handouts on phonemic awareness and other topics relating to literacy.
A big thank you to Krissy for inviting me to guest blog!






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