Hearing and manipulating the sounds in language are important skills for learning to read. Phonemic awareness and letter knowledge have been identified in several research studies as the two key indicators of how well children will master beginning reading skills during the first two years in school. (The Threads of Reading by Karen Tankersly at ascd.org)
Understanding Phonological and Phonemic Awareness
Both are about the ability to hear & manipulate the sounds in language…
- Phonological Awareness – in words & syllables
- Phonemic Awareness – at the phoneme (individual sounds within words) level
WATCH Phonemic Awareness video (4:27) from Red Apple Reading and a video demonstrating a phonemic awareness warmup. (16:03) Also see a helpful explanation of Phonological Awareness at Dyslexia Help and more at readingresource.net.
Phonological Interventions for Struggling Readers from Learning at the Primary Pond has this illustration of the progression of skills, and lots of ideas for activities for developing them.
Build a foundation of skills with increasing difficulty from bottom to top.
Phonological and Phonemic Awareness from The DailyPlanit at the Teachers Pay Teachers Super Tutor store (free)
Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Skills from Clever Classroom
Developmental Sequence from Make, Take, Teach
Use CVC picture cards to rhyme, say the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd sound, or listen for the difference between two.
Sightwords.com has great resources for phonological and phonemic awareness. More activities for phonemic awareness at Reading Rockets. In phonological and phonemic awareness, the emphasis is on hearing sounds. The activities below can be helpful additions to a Phonics Kit.
- Rhyming Quilts from lakeshorelearning.com
- Find the Rhyme from jumpstart.com
- Play Word Family Treasure
Syllable Counting: clap or tap, or feel your mouth drop.
- Syllable Sort from Peterson’s Pad
- Use animal flashcards from supersimplelearning and sort by how many syllables.
- Play Syllable Softball from sightwords.com.
- Capture the Compounds from firstgradealacarte
- Compound word games from thisreadingmama
- Compound word list from allaboutlearningpress
Syllable Manipulation: WordList (pdf) to blend, segment or delete syllables.
Identify initial sounds
- Clip strips from the measured mom.
- Beginning Sound Picture Sorts from the measured mom. Match magnetic letters to pictures with Dig up the Letters.
- Another magnetic letter match with Beginning Sound Magnet Match from the kindergarten connection.
- Identify more sounds with grapheme match cards from getreadingright.com.au/
- Blend onset and rime with Little Bunny phonogram sliders or other word family sliders.
- Short Vowel Sliders from themeasuredmom, Word Slider Cards from deceptivelyeducational. (put these in an envelope w/end cut off or a pencil box & slide out one sound at a time)
- Cards with Elkonin boxes from Kimberly’s Kindergarten.
Phoneme segmenting and manipulation
- Word list for deleting and substituting from ontrackreading
- Word Building and Substitution free from Super Tutor Tools at Teachers Pay Teachers. Start with a word, then change one sound at a time and identify the letter.
PLAY Online games: Phonemic Awareness Symbaloo
Note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Firefox browser. Abcya is free on pc only.
- At Professorgarfield: Rhyme-Meet the gang, Blending-Hayloft & Orson’s Waller, Categorize-Chicken Coop, Delete- Pumpkin Patch, Substitute-Lanolin’s Greenhouse. Beginning & Ending sounds: Fishing with Phonics
- At Literactive (all at Symbaloo): Rhyming: Lovebirds and Fish, Initial sounds: Easel & Nine Squares, Middle sounds: Sliding Beaver, Final sounds: Slides and Garden leaves. Odd one out: Laying Hens,
- Rhyming: Alphabats at abcya, Partners in Rhyme at Turtle Diary, Rhyme Roundup at roomrecess, at cleverlearner. Words that Rhyme at Roy the Zebra.
- Alliteration: Alphabats at abcya
- Syllables: Drums at literactive, Alphabats at abcya, Silly Bulls at spellingcity.com. see more at syllables
- Compound Words: Slimezilla at abcya, matching at education.com
- Blending: Short vowel machines at starfall, short vowels at kizphonics. more advanced: Fuzz bugs farm at abcya. see more at blends and blending
- Beginning sounds: beginning sounds at roomrecess, Picture match from read,write, think, Clifford from Scholastic, Initial Sounds at funfonix (click on Game, then Collect the Stars)
- Middle Sounds: Word Gobble at Funbrain Jr. Middle & Ending Sounds from cleverlearner.com, Final: slides & garden leaves (literactive)
- Categorize: Laying Hens at literactive, Chicken coop at professorgarfield and Odd Sound Out from phonicsbloom.com.
- Substitute: Viking at ictgames, word ladders at turtlediary, magic lantern at literactive
Download a Chart with online games in the sequence to build phonological awareness skills.
Teach reading skills using hands-on, fun activities: memorable introductions to patterns with fun rhymes, 16 games, 24 worksheets, 11 word sorts and more. Learn more about the Phonics Toolkit and get your copy today!