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Defining Phonemic Awareness
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Activities to increase Phonemic Awareness
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Activities to increase Phonemic Awareness
To provide activities to increase phonemic awareness, become familiar with a phonological awareness continuum.
1. Ways Children can demonstrate their Phonemic Awareness
a. Identifying and making rhymes orally
b. Identifying and working with syllables in spoken words
c. identifying and working with individual phonemes in spoken words
2. Categories to use when selecting learning activities related to developing childrens' phonemic awareness
a. Phoneme isolation: Recognizing individual sounds in words--What is the first sound in boy? Answer: /b/
b. Phoneme identity: Hearing the same sound in different words--What sound is the same in boy, bake, and butter? Answer: the first sound /b/ is the same.
c. Phoneme categorization: Recognizing the word having a different sound in a group of three or four words--Which word doesn't belong? run, rake, toy Answer: toy does not belong because it begins with /t/.
d. Phoneme blending: Understanding how to listen to phonemes spoken separately and then blend them together to form a word--What is this word? /m/ /a/ /k/ Answer: /m/ /a/ /k/ is make.
e. Phoneme segmentation: Breaking a spoken word into its separate phonemes while tapping or counting on the fingers each sound--Say the sounds you hear in the word cup slowly. Answer: Ccccc uuhhhhh ppppp.
Examples of activities to help develop children's phonemic awareness:
Listening and Rhyming Video
Using different items such as hand clappers, drums, pots and pans, cups, cans, or tennis rackets you can have children determine the number of syllables in a given word. For example, you would clap your clappers two times for the word "sister" because it has two syllables. For increased difficulty, clap your clappers (any number of times) and have your child think of a word that contains that same number of syllables.
Classroom Syllable Graph
Copy a "Classroom Syllable Graph" for each student in your classroom. Say the name of a student and have them color a square above the correct number of syllables. This is a fun way to combine phonemic awareness activities and math practice!
Using the lyrics to "Hickety Pickety," or another sing along song, have your child say, clap the syllables, and whisper their name to you. This will help the children to practice phonemic awareness and remember these skills by singing.
Beginning and Ending Sounds Activities:
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Word
Tell your child you are going to teach them a song that will help them discover new words by taking off parts (sounds) of the word. Teach this song and let them fill in the last word. After a few verses using new words, invite the children to sing along. Other possible words to use include:
boat (oat), farm (arm), meat (eat), bus (us), sled (lead), hand (and), & sit (it).
hammer (ham), soap (so), little (lit), meat (me), & boat (bow).
Maybe try going through the whole alphabet, adding on a new beginning each time to help children practice their sounds.
Segmenting and blending Activities:
Segmenting Cards (2-5 Phonemes)Place the cards face-up in random order on a flat surface. Have your child put the pictures together. Say a sound for each picture part while slowly sliding the parts away from each other. Then have your child say a sound for each picture part while slowly sliding the parts together. Once they are back together, say the whole word and continue with other picture cards.
Place a green, yellow, and red mat on the floor (in that order). Begin by giving your child a word with 1-3 sounds. Have your child say the sounds they hear as they jump from mat to mat. For increased difficulty, move the mats so they are further apart.
This segmenting activity is easy to do and it doesn't require any materials but your hands! Have your child/class place their hands together. Give them a word. Each time they hear a sound in a word, have them say it and move their hands further apart.
This way of stretching words is great for students who like movement! Use a yoga mat and begin by explaining that it's important to stretch your body before you can stretch your brain. Give your child a set of directions to stretch their body. For example, tell them to slowly touch their toes, reach high in the air, place arms out to the side, and roll their head slowly. Once they have stretched their bodies, they are ready to stretch words! A fantastic multi-sensory phonemic awareness activity.
Rhyming Phonemic Awareness Activities:
Each week and new chant or poem is introduced. Students practice reading these poems through various activities and send them home each Thursday to share with family members.
Using an old book bag filled with random objects is a great way to help children with rhyming. Find things that are of meaning to you or place objects in the book bag that will make them laugh. See how many words you can think of that rhyme with that object, even if it is not a real word!
LEARNING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LETTERS, SOUNDS, SYLLABLES, WORDS, & SENTENCES: PHONEMIC AWARENESS ACTIVITIES:
Word, Letter, Sound, & Syllable Table
By enlarging and laminating this template your students can determine the letters, sounds, and syllables in new words you are working on in the classroom. This helps children visualize that some words might have a lot of letters, but not a lot of sounds and vice versa.
Letter, Sound, Syllable, Word, & Sentence Poster Template
Cut out the cards and glue each to the top of a large poster. Provide your students/child with old magazines and newspapers. Help them cut out uppercase and lowercase letters, sounds, syllables, words, and sentences and glue of the appropriate poster. For "sounds" and "syllables" have your child use pictures of objects. Cut the objects according to the number of sounds and syllables. For example, the word "cat" would be cut into three pieces to represent the sound /k/ /a/ /t/. A great multi-sensory phonemic awareness activity.
These activity examples can be found at:
Activities for Age
1. Hot Potato
The children will all sit in a circle on the floor. Provide them with a small basket with simple picture cards in it. Begin passing the basket around when music starts playing. After a few seconds, stop the music. Have the child who is holding the basket reach in and pull out a picture. The child says the name of the picture and then says the beginning sound of that word. Continue until all the children have had a chance to name a card.
2. Tongue Twisters
Give each child an egg carton and several dried beans. Instruct them to place a bean in an egg carton compartment each time they hear a certain sound at the beginning of a word. Make up several sentences which contain the same first sound (e.g. “My mother married a mad movie star” would call for 5 beans). Use several different sounds and different lengths of sentences. Repeat sentences as needed so all children are successful.
3. “I’m Going on a Trip”
Play a variation of the “I’m going on a trip” game by only taking items that begin with a certain sound. Have one child start by saying, “I’m going on a trip and I’m taking a dog.” The child next to him in the circle says, “I’m going on a trip and I’m taking a dog and a doctor. Continue around the circle until the children run out of ideas or someone forgets, and then start a new sequence with a different beginning sound.
4. “Simon Says”
Play a variation of “Simon Says” by having the children stand in a long line with the “finish line” marked several feet ahead of them. Write down 3 words on each of several note cards before the game, some that all start with the same sound and some that don’t. The teacher picks up a card and says “Simon says, man, moon, and mine all start with the /m/ sound.” If the children agree, they can step forward one step. If the teacher reads words that don’t all start the same and the children recognize that, they also get to move forward. Occasionally, the teacher will read the words without saying “Simon says” first and then those children that move have to take a step backwards. Continue until all children have crossed the finish line.
5. Hungry for K’s
Tell the children, “We are on a special diet – we can only eat things that start with the /k/ sound.” Fill up a lunch box with objects that begin with /k/ (e.g., carrots, corn, cucumbers, ketchup, etc.). To make it interesting, add other objects that start with /k/ but you wouldn’t necessarily eat (e.g., cards, cat, cow, key). “Throw out” any spoiled items (i.e., objects that don’t start with the special /k/ sound).
6. Sound Soup
Tell the children, “Today we’ll be making Sound Soup - all the ingredients must begin with the /s/ sound.” Fill the bowl with items such as salt, spaghetti, and strawberries. Add in some non-food items for fun (e.g., straws, socks, and sleeping bags). For additional fun and practice, have the children stir the soup.
7. Thumbs Up
Choose a sound and tell the children what it is. Begin listing off words that contain and don’t contain your chosen target sound. Have the children put their thumbs up if the word begins with the special sound and thumbs down if the word does not begin with the sound.
8. Sorting Mail
Have three envelopes with a target sound printed on the outside of each. Have the children draw a picture from a pile and put it in the envelope with the same beginning sound. If you are working with the same number of children as envelopes, assign each child to collect the “mail” that goes in their envelope.
9. Sound Bingo Game (for groups)
Using the materials provided here, give each child a bingo card. Before playing, review all of the pictures on the Bingo cards by saying the name of the picture and the sound that the word starts with. The teacher will call off the selections by the first sound in the word or picture. The sounds included are: /d, b, k, w, m, p, l, g, f/. The children will then identify which picture begins with that sound. For example, the teacher will call off the sound “kuh” and the children will cover the “king” with a chip or marker. As the children place markers on the pictures, they can call out “Bingo” when they have a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line of words that have been covered. The first child who covers four pictures horizontally, vertically, or diagonally is the winner.
10. Alphabet Search
Find items/pictures in a catalog/magazine that begin with different sounds of the alphabet. Glue or draw the items on a paper that has that letter of the alphabet/sound at the top. This could be the child’s very own alphabet book!
11. “Let’s Label the House!”
Make labels using index cards. Write a different sound on each card. Have the children draw the sound out of a bag and then find something in the house/classroom that begins with that sound. When they find an object, tape the sound to the item.
12. I Spy
Say the poem, “I spy with my little eye, something that begins with the sound.” (Put a sound in the blank.) Have the child guess what you may be looking at. After the child discovers what you’ve spied, they can try to fool you by spying an item. This activity also works great in the car when traveling.
: Kindergarten-First Grade
Meet in the Middle
Collect sets of three pictures or objects that have the same middle sounds (e.g. pig/fish/king; hand/cat/lamb; sock/mop/pot; bell/men/pet). Tell the children that you are going to try to sort all of the pictures into the right boxes based on the sound that comes in the middle of the word. Help the children begin sorting them into small boxes with a vowel sound taped to the outside. When sorting is complete, take all the cards out from each box and review the words and their middle sounds.
Say it Loud
Ask three children to be your assistants in the front of the group. The child on the group’s left crouches down on her hands and knees. The middle child stands tall and the child on the right is on her hands and knees. When you say a three-sound word like ‘bell’ have the first child say the /b/ in a very quiet voice, the second child says the middle sound loudly and the third child says her sound very quiet. Emphasize the middle sounds of several words.
Name that Sound
Explain to the children that you are going to play a game with sounds and you need them to listen carefully. Say three words that have the same middle sound (e.g. game/lake/paint; soap/nose/goat; hat/rap/Sam). If they can identify the middle sound correctly, they can call on the next child after the next three words are said.
Using ten pairs of cards with familiar 3-sound pictures on them, shuffle the cards, turn them over in a 4X5 grid and play a game of Memory with the cards. As each card is turned over, the child will tell you the middle sound of each word and try to find its match. Play continues until all matches have been found. Review the words and emphasize the middle sounds.
On the Farm
Sing the song, “Old McDonald Had a Farm.” In the song, call attention to the animals or objects on the farm. For example, when singing “Old McDonald had a “cat,” ask the child to identify the sound they hear in the middle of the word “cat.” Use simple words such as cat, pig, dog, duck, goose, mouse, etc.
Phonological Awareness Activities from:
Involving parents in teaching phonemic awareness activities:
Parents can play games with their children at spare moments: in the car, waiting in line, fixing dinner. Practice rhyming and saying syllables with objects found in a natural setting.
Clap the (Syllable) Beats
Find something in the room, or out the window. (Or think of something we see in the kitchen; at the park, etc.)
Say its name, and help the child to clap out the syllables:
The word is . . .
Say and clap . . .
truck (just one clap!)
Which Word is Longer? Clap and see!
(This can be a tricky question for young children!)
Sev-en-up or truck? Train or cat-er-pil-lar?
These activities which include parents can be found at:
Phonemic Awareness Lesson Plans can be found at:
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