Teaching Phonemic Awareness to First Graders

There are several components to teaching phonemic awareness to children.

  • Isolating phonemes – Student can identify the individual sounds of letters.  Example: Teacher says, “What is the first sound in man?” or “What sound do you hear at the end of man?”  Student answers, “/m/” or “/n/” accordingly.
  • Matching phonemes – Student identifies the words with the same beginning sound in a short list of words.   Example: Teacher says, “Listen to these words and tell me which ones begin with the same sound: ball, bell, cat, book.”  Student answers, “ball, bell, book.”
  • Blending phonemes – Student listens to individual sounds and blends them together to form a word.  Example:  Teacher says, “Listen to these sounds and tell me the word, /m/-/a-/-/n/.”  Student answers, “Man.”
  • Segmenting phonemes – Student hears a word and makes the individual sounds for that word.  Example:  Teacher says, “Tell me the sounds you hear in man.”  Student answers, “/m/-/a/-/n/.”
  • Deleting phonemes – Teacher removes the beginning phoneme and student tells the new word.  Example:  Teacher says, “Listen to ‘grow,’ then take away the /g/ sound at the beginning.  What is the new word?”  Student answers, “Row.”
  • Adding phonemes – Teacher adds a phoneme to a word.  Example:  Teacher says, ” Listen to ‘row.’   Now add /g/ to the beginning of row.  What is the new word?”  Student answers, “Grow.”