These phonemic awareness activities teach the essential pre-reading skills for learning to read. Once students can do these activities, they are ready to learn the letters and learn to read.
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Phonemic Awareness Activities PDF.protected, or go to the PDF section of the Articles page.
PHONEMIC AWARENESS ACTIVITIES
(The articles that accompany my videos are not exact transcripts; some parts that cannot be explained without visuals may have been deleted, and some text that could not be included in the video may have been added.)
I’ve set these phonemic awareness activities out step by step, with examples along the way.
Doing these activities requires a large mental leap for students who have been taught reading according to the Whole Word or Sight Word method of learning to read. So be patient, go step by step, and don’t rush..
Here’s a summary of the steps you’ll cover with your student:
– choose the sounds you want to teach;
– find pictures for each sound and put them on paper squares; and
– teach your student the names of the pictures, then the sound that begins each picture name; then
– do the activities in the order they are listed below. Don’t go on to the later activities until your child can do the earlier activities..
Choose the sounds you want to teach. In this video, I’ll use the following sounds, as an example: /a/ in apple and ant, /e/ in egg and elephant, /m/ in mountains and mosquito, /n/ in necklace and nest, /r/ in roar and rooster, and /s/ in snake and swan.
Find 2 pictures that have names that begin with each sound. These pictures need to be ones your student can understand, and will find easy to remember. (Don’t worry about the way these names are spelled; instead concentrate on the sound: for example, if you’re teaching sound /f/ in fly, then you might choose a picture of a fly and a picture of the student’s friend, Phil.) Place these pictures on sheets of paper like this.
Write the name of each picture on the back – this written name is for you, not your student.
Cut out each picture square and mix them up.
Teach your student the name of each picture. This is just an interim step, so don’t put a lot of time and effort into teaching this, because your student only needs to remember the names of the pictures while he learns the next step.
Teach your student the sound each picture name starts with. (This is the important thing your student needs to remember, so put as much effort as necessary into this step.).
PHONEMIC AWARENESS ACTIVITIES:
– say a sound, and ask your student to choose the 2 pictures that begin with that sound and place the pictures where you point. Point to the
position on the desk that is just in front of her and slightly to the left. Then ask her to say the picture’s sound as you point to it;
– when your student can say the sounds for all the pictures, ask that he chooses his favourite picture for each sound, and put the other
pictures away out of sight for now. Use only these favourite pictures for the following activities;
– explain that when we see writing, we’re seeing lots of special pictures, and each picture is for a sound we have to say. Say that now, the two
of you will read some words written with pictures, so she can see how reading really works; and
– “write” a 2 or 3 sound word (you haven’t said aloud) in pictures, placing the pictures directly in front of the student, starting slightly to the
left. Ask your student to point to each picture (making sure she starts at the left), and say the sound for each picture. Now, ask her to do
that again, a bit faster. Now, you say the word, running your finger along the top or bottom of the pictures. Do several words a day in this
Here are the words I wrote with the pictures above:
am, men, ran, sam, ram, man, an
Here’s what the words looked like written in pictures.
When your student understands that she is saying the sounds of the pictures, and can blend the sounds into the words most of the time, she is ready to learn the letters, and learn to read.
Make sure your student learns to read using a good phonics course. For more information on what I mean by a good phonics course, go to my website, and read my Article on phonics.
If you’d prefer that someone else taught Phonemic Awareness, you might like to use my Phonemic Awareness Course, that’s available on my website.