Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic Awareness is the understanding that spoken language is composed of phonemes, or individual sounds. It is the ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) within words.

Phonemic Awareness begins with auditory (hearing) development and continues to develop as students connect sounds to print.

A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound. Phonemes combine and form syllables and words.

Examples of phonemic awareness:

Isolation means recognizing individual sounds in words.
Example: The first sound in “pig” is /p/.

Identity is recognizing the common sound in different words.
Example: The same sound in “boy,” “bark,” and “big” is /b/.

Distinguish means recognizing one sound from another.
Example: The first sound in “bell” is /b/ and the first sound in “dog” is /d/.

Blending is when a child can listen to a sequence of separately spoken sounds, and then has learned to combine them to create a word.
Example: The word created with the sounds /s/ /i/ /p/ is “sip.”

Segmentation means a child has the ability to identify and hear individual sounds within a word.
Example: The word “cat” is made up of three phonemes /c/ /a/ /t/.

Manipulation is when a child can replace one sound in a word with another and create a new word.
Example: Replacing the /c/ in “can” with /p/ and the new is “pan.”

Practice at Home:

Recognizing rhyme is a key skill in your child developing an understanding of sound, and rhyming can be fun!


Sing Songs with Rhyme- The Name Game, Hey Diddle Diddle, have fun singing and engaging your child in word paly.

Hearing Words that Rhyme- Have your child listen to words like cat, fun, big, and then come up with words that rhyme with them.

Nursery Rhymes- Like Mother Goose, and have fun reading to your child then identify the rhyming words.

Read Books with Rhyming Words- Is Your Mama a Llama? Enjoy reading aloud to them and allowing them to hear and recognize words that rhyme.