Hello out there in Literacy Land! This is Wendy from Read With Me ABC here to talk with you about Phonemic Awareness.
Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate individual sounds, or phonemes, in spoken words. Phonemic awareness is a subcategory of phonological awareness.
Phonological awareness has a broader focus. It is the ability to identify and manipulate larger units of spoken language, such as words, syllables, and rhymes as well as phonemes.
Phonemic awareness is not phonics. Phonemic awareness is the ability to understand that the sounds of spoken language work together to make words. Phonics is the ability to understand the relationship between letters (graphemes) of written language and the sounds of spoken language.
According to the National Reading Panel, phonemic awareness is an important component of effective reading instruction.
Children who have phonemic awareness skills are likely to have an easier time learning to read, comprehend, and spell than students who lack phonemic awareness skills.
Most children develop phonemic awareness naturally through experiences with poems and nursery rhymes. Phonemic awareness can also be taught. Children can learn to notice, think about, and work with sounds in spoken language.
The most effective instruction occurs in a small group setting and takes just a few minutes each day. Teachers use a variety of activities to build phonemic awareness skills.
- Identifying phonemes - What sound is the same in all three words: bat, ball, bun? /b/
- Categorizing phonemes - Which word does not belong: map, mat, bag? bag
- Blending phonemes to form words - What word is /b/ /u/ /s/? bus
- Segmenting words into phonemes - Say each sound in frog. /f/ /r/ /o/ /g/
- Deleting or adding phonemes to form new words - What word is star without the /s/? tar What word do you have if you add /b/ to the beginning of lock? block
- Substituting phonemes to make new words - The word is bun. Change the /b/ to /s/. What word do you have? sun
Teaching students one or two types of phoneme manipulation - specifically blending and segmenting words - is likely to have greater impact on students' reading.
Sometimes my students and I play oral word games like the examples above. Other times we manipulate pictures or tokens when working with a particular skill.
The student in this picture is sliding a bear into a box for each sound he hears in a word. We use a variety of themed sorting mats and buttons, glass beads, legos, etc. as the tokens.
Pictured above are two of my favorite books for teaching phonemic awareness with engaging, meaningful activities.
These are just two of the many great CDs from Jack Hartmann and Heidi Songs to reinforce phonemic awareness skills.
Do you have a favorite activity for teaching phonemic awareness? Please leave a comment below and share your idea with the Literacy Land followers. We love reading your comments!