Definition and Example Definition: Phonemic awareness refers to a child’s ability to recognize and manipulate phonemes, or individual speech sounds, within spoken words (Reutzel & Cooter, 2012, p. 105; 126). Example: A student hears the word “tall” and is able to identify its first sound (onset) and last part (rime) (Reutzel & Cooter, 2012, p. 106).
Instructional Materials Example 1: Phoneme Manipulation Game The Florida Center for Reading Research has many fantastic instructional resources for different components of literacy. Here is a game children in grades two and three can play to practice manipulating phonemes in words. Click on the link below and scroll down to the second game. –Make It, Find It, Keep It Game
Example 2: Phoneme Synthesis Another source for phonemic awareness instructional materials is the Reading Rockets website. The game suggested below is a fun, non-print way to support elementary students in synthesizing words from their separate phonemes. Click on the link and scroll down to the last activity. –Troll Talk II: Phonemes game
Example 1: Phoneme Isolation –To help children understand that words have individual sounds, a teacher might play a ball-toss game in which s/he says a word, tosses a ball to someone else, who is responsible for saying the first sound in that word by itself. That child would then think of a new word and repeat the process with his or her peers (Reutzel & Cooter, 2012, p. 104-110).
Example 2: Phoneme Identity –To help children hear and identify the same sound in different words, the teacher could prepare a deck of picture cards that illustrate words with a variety of starting sounds. –Students will each get a set of five picture cards. The teacher will display one from the remainder of the deck, and will ask the children to name it. After naming it, children will search through their hands to see if they have any cards that have pictures that represent words with a similar sound (Reutzel & Cooter, 2012, p. 104-110).
Authentic Assessments Example 1: Auditory Blending Test A student says a word after hearing the teacher slowly say its individual sounds (Reutzel & Cooter, 2012, p. 96). –Teacher says "T-ip. What word am I saying?" –This allows the teacher to assess whether the child is able to blend sounds together to form words.
Example 2: Phoneme Segmenting Test The teacher says a word, then the child says the sound he or she hears at the beginning, middle or end of the word, depending on what the teacher has asked him or her to identify (Reutzel & Cooter, 2012, p. 97). –Teacher says, “Hush. Say the sound at the end of the word hush.” –This test allows the teacher to assess whether the child can isolate phonemes that he or she hears in the beginning, medial or end of a word.