What is Phonemic Awareness?

Occasionally people ask me if I worry about running out of information for this site.  My response is that I have an infinate amount of activities and information that I want to post about and if anything I struggle with getting ahead of myself.  And I have to confess I already have!  I want to show parents the sequence of understanding a child’s development in reading, writing, and math so bad that I want to lay it out post by post.  But today, I am stepping back, only SLIGHTLY, to take what I already have introduced and add a lot more activities to it. 

For example, I wrote a post not long ago about phonemic awareness, but there is SO much to know about phonemic awareness and there are a few other skills to master before introducing the one I posted about coloring a gingerbread house.

So take a minute, breathe, and brace yourself for a little lesson that is “the secret key to reading success” (as my friend and mentor Beth Yglesias puts it).

Phonemic awareness is the awareness of sounds within a word.  To learn this process there is a ladder of skills that must be climbed to achieve the FLUENCY and structure of reading.  So here is a visual breakdown for you: Click HERE on Reading Ladder if you cannot read the image below or click on the image itself.

I wanted you to see this so that you would understand the sequence of activities I am posting,  Each step needs to be MASTERED before moving up to the next.  So I am going to try to post more activities on the earliest steps first to give you lots to practice 🙂

All that to say, I posted an activity recently for a child who has established the Step 5 skill and I skipped an activity for Step 4: Listening for a word in parts and hearing the whole word….so here is an activity for Step 4:

Step four is to be able to listen to the sounds that make up a word such as /c/-/at/ and understand that you are saying the word “cat”

*******When a letter is inside of this symbol “//” you make the letter SOUND not the letter name.  

So if I were to show my little one (who can rhyme as well as clap words and word parts) pictures of a cat, a dog, and a fish, and asked him/her to show me the picture of the /f/-/ish/, he would point to the fish.

But this is just the first level of giving him/her a chance to listen for the word parts to hear a word.  The next level, after this one is mastered, is to ask him/her to show me the picture of the /f/-/i/-/sh/ and he would hear all those sounds together and point to the fish.

Here is a page of pictures for you to practice the FIRST LEVEL of this skill:

Listen To Find The Picture

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3Pingbacks & Trackbacks on What is Phonemic Awareness?

  1. I Spy | The Mommy Teacher
    February 2, 2011 at 11:32 pm (7 years ago)

    […] you read the post “What is Phonemic Awareness?” then you know that there are three phases to this game because there are three different […]

  2. What's Normal? | The Mommy Teacher
    March 9, 2011 at 6:10 am (7 years ago)

    […] are some of the ways that you can help your kiddos get through this process: 1) teaching pre-reading skills in sequence, 2) teaching letters and numbers using hands-on forms of the letters so children can […]


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