Today I want to talk to you about how to teach phonemic awareness to children.
I will also be sharing a phonemic awareness activity that I’ve created for you. You can use it to start to practice phoneme awareness skills and phoneme manipulation skills with your students. (You can download it at the bottom).
A lot of people talk about phonemic awareness when they’re teaching young children to read or when they’re teaching struggling readers.
Phonemic awareness is the awareness of individual sounds in spoken words so for example in the word blend we have the sounds b/ l/ e/ n/ d and we blend those sounds together to make the word.
Phonemic manipulation goes a little bit further than that.
Phonemic manipulation is the ability to manipulate the phonemes in the words so for example if I said to you what is the word blend without the b at the beginning? It would be lend.
That’s a phonemic manipulation task.
We could take it one step further and say now we have the word lend what would it be if I swapped the e for an a sound. We’d have the word land.
Being able to manipulate phonemes in words is a really critical reading and spelling skill because it’s essentially what we’re doing when we create English words in spoken language. It helps kids to map those sounds onto the writing or the letters that we use to represent those sounds.
We really only have about 44 sounds in the English language. We just reuse them and rearrange them to create different words so essentially to be able to read and spell we need to be able to manipulate those sounds.
Now the task I’ve just done with you is a really great way to start exploring this with your students.
Phonemic Awareness Activity
I’ve created a free resource for you so that you can do the same thing in your own classroom or at home with your children.
You can use it either verbally and/or you can start to introduce phonics and use these activities using letters so showing a child how those sounds link-up and the relationship between the sound and symbol correspondence.
Are you interested in an entire course on phonics?
Inspired Education Services has released an online Synthetic Phonics Course. We take you into one of our courses and show you exactly how to teach phonics the right way. The course includes over 10 videos and 20 printable resources.