Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Phonemic Awareness for Learning to Read
Image courtesy of Alper Tecer, Creative Commons 2.0
This post has been modified in May 2014 with new graphics and resource section. At the time of initial publication, my daughter was 2 years old. She was reading fluently at 3 years old and a very enthusiastic and engaged reader now. Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate and this post contains affiliate links. For full disclosure, please click here and thank you for supporting my blog!

What Is Phonetic Awareness?

Phonetic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate phonemes - the smallest unit of speech that distinguishes one word from another. A child initially hears spoken language as ideas, or units of meaning. Awareness of separate words, syllables and speech sounds is developing usually at the age of 3-4 and can be helped by playing rhyming games. Since our daughter was an early talker and now talks in complete sentence, we decided to start phonetic awareness practice earlier.

Activities for Phonetic Awareness

Here are a few activities recommended in Straight Talk About Reading to promote sound awareness:

1. Hearing rhyming words (the simple definition is that words rhyme when all the sounds are the same except the beginning sounds) - say a pair of words, e.g. cat-hat, go-top, and ask your child if they rhyme or not. Try 5 amazing rhyming games from How Wee Learn
5 amazing rhyming activities for kids
2. Sort pictures by initial consonant sound - have cards with pictures of familiar objects and cards with letters that correspond with initial sounds of the picture cards. Put two letter cards out as column labels. Hand out the picture card one at a time to your child, ask her to name the word and place it into an appropriate column or return it to you if initial sound is not one of the two you selected. You can increase to more columns as your child progresses. Check out this free printable from Mrs Plant’s Press
Sorting Beginning Sounds Free Printable

3. Word sharing song. The song goes like this:

Do you have a /d/ word to share with me?
Do you have a /d/ word to share with me?
Do you have a /d/ word to share with me?
It must start with the /d/ sound

The response (from you or your child):
Dog (or whatever) is a word that starts with /d/.
Dog is a word that starts with /d/.
Dog is a word that starts with /d/.
Dog starts with the /d/ sound.

More Resources for Phonemic Awareness

Follow my Learning to Read Pinterest Board.


What My Child is Reading – June 25, 2009 « Teaching Young Children said...

[...] of my first posts on this blog was about prerequisites for reading and activities to promote sound awareness. It’s amazing to see how far Anna progressed in just 5 months. She really likes rhyming now [...]

Anonymous said...

These are fantastic ideas for practicing phonemic awareness.

Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

Alisha Carlson said...

These are wonderful tips both for reading and for learning speech sounds! Thanks so much for sharing on Makeovers & Motherhood's Welcome Party Wednesday Link-Up! You are one of my features this week! Pinned.