Phonemic Awareness


Reading is the basic tool in the living of a good life.
by Mortimer J. Adler



What in the world is
phonemic awareness?

Phonemic awareness  is the ability to HEAR the individual phonemes that make up a word. It does not involve the written word, ONLY the sounds that  you HEAR in a word.       


                Oh my! What are phonemes?                

It's really quite simple! Phonemes are the individual sounds that you hear in a word. Think of the word sat. In this word you hear the sound that the s makes, the sound that the a makes, and the sound that the t makes. Say it and stretch it:  sssssaaaaattttt. You can break this word into each individual phoneme (sound):   /s/   /a/   /t/. The word sat has 3 phonemes! Plain and simple, phonemes are speech sounds, not letters!


          Let's give it a try!
Take a look at the words to the right.

Say each word out loud.

  Tap each sound that you hear.

  How many sounds did you hear?  

       lap                 each

       fun                 odd

       hand              night

       ship               laugh

       stump            ray


Why is this so important?

Research shows that teaching phonemic awareness to young children is an important part of learning to read and a strong predictor of reading success. It is imperative that children understand that words are made up of speech sounds. This helps them in spelling and decoding (sounding out) unknown words.

            Phonemic Awareness Activities!          

Strategies for Teaching
Phonemic Awareness

Simple activities that can be done to develop phonemic awareness.

How Now Brown Cow:
Phoneme Awareness Activities
for Collaborative Classrooms

Phoneme awareness training activities that can be used with young children.

Phonemic Awareness Worksheets

This site takes you to 56 phonics and phonemic awareness worksheets designed to improve memorization of important consonant and vowel sounds.

Reading Workshop-Phonemic Awareness

Activities designed to help children become aware of the sounds of language. Interactive and immediate feedback. Try these with your child!

Jim's Crankophone

This game provides practice with auditory discrimination of medial vowels.

Songs for Teaching

A collection of songs
that build phonemic awareness .  

Phonemic Awareness Activities

Simple activities that can be done to develop phonemic awareness and phonics. 

Practice with Syllables

This interactive game gives the child practice clapping out syllables. Immediate feedback when an answer is given.

Games that Build Phonemic Awareness

Word play with sounds is a great way to build phonemic awareness. Here are some simple ideas that can be done in the car, at the dinner table, or in the bathtub.

Clifford's Sound Match Game

Clifford, the big red dog, is a favorite of children. Play this game of listening to the sound and matching to a picture.

       Articles about Phonemic Awareness                
Phonemic Awareness What Does It Mean?

This article details the
stages of phonological awareness.

      Visit Beginning Reading to learn more!            



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