Developing phonemic awareness among students is an important step in helping them master sight words, reading, and speaking. While students at first will struggle with the concepts of syllables and phonetics, they will eventually learn to use these tools to gain greater access to the literary world. The following worksheets, activities, and games give help teaching phonemic awareness to students of all age groups.
Learning the alphabet may seem like the first step on an early learner’s path to reading. Teachers, however, can begin developing phonological awareness before ever introducing children to the alphabet.
While there are 26 letters in our alphabet, our language is made up of 44 individual sounds or phonemes. Phonological awareness is the ability to understand and recognize those 44 phonemes. Many of these phonemes are alternative sounds from a letter or the result of letter combinations such as vowel or consonant digraphs. Having phonological awareness of these sounds and how they’re made is necessary before a student can truly begin to read.
To begin teaching children phonological awareness, we can start big and work our way down. First, have them break apart a simple sentence into separate words. Once they can do this, have them break apart a word into the different syllables that make it up. Finally, have them break apart the syllable into the individual phonemes that make up that syllable. This skill is called phonemic awareness.
Phonemic awareness is the ability to break a word up into the individual phonemes, including the ability to add or substitute sounds in words. This understanding can be applied when students encounter new words, especially irregularly spelled words, as they read.
Using the resources provided above by Education.com will give teachers the opportunity to work with their students on their phonological awareness using a variety of methods. Variety will keep the concepts fresh in the minds of early learners and could help maintain focus and increase retention.