How to Teach Sounds and Phonemic Awareness Skills

phonemic awareness and sounds playing sheet

Playing with sounds to strengthen beginning reading skills is the most important phonemic awareness skill to develop. It is especially important for beginning readers and those struggling to read. How you teach sounds and phonemic awareness skills can happen easily in all classrooms.

What is phonemic awareness?

Phonemic Awareness, the most difficult phonological awareness skill, is the ability to to attend to and manipulate the smallest sounds in speech called phonemes. Check out the sequence of phonological awareness skills here so that playing with sounds to strengthen beginning reading skills will happen naturally.

What phonemic awareness skill do I start with to strengthen beginning reading skills and sounds?

Always start with focusing on the beginning sounds when playing with sounds to strengthen beginning reading skills. Then progress to ending sounds. Finally, focus on middle vowel sounds which are very difficult for kindergarten students.
Here’s how:
Firstly, show the kids a letter card.
T- “Today we are going to talk about the letter b. What’s the name of this letter?”
S- “b”
T- “The sound it makes is /b/. What sound does the letter b make?”
S- “/b/”
Secondly, I point to each picture and say the name of the picture. The students put a thumb up or down if it starts with the correct sound.
T-“Say Bee. The beginning sound is /b/. Listen as I say it slowly. /BBB/ee so show me thumbs up.”
Students show thumbs up.
T-“Now show me thumbs up if you hear /b/ at the beginning of the words and thumbs down if there is a different sound for all the words.”
Beginning Sound and phonemic awareness Clip card form Teach Magically
Click picture for resource
Lastly. I say each word as I point to the pictures. The students must show me thumbs up or down. Having the students do an action helps with keeping everyone involved and learning.
Later, I place these in centers with clothes pins and the students can search for the beginning sounds. The clips help develop fine motor skills. I place a small smiley face on the back of the cards so the kiddos can self check the answers.
sounds and phonemic awareness card game playing with p

Playing with Vocabulary along with Phonemic Awareness to Strengthen Beginning Reading Skills

These cards help develop vocabulary. I also like that all the words are on one card so I don’t have to flip through cards to find pictures with beginning sounds when I am teaching! They save me so much time and effort!

 Then we dance and sing I always use Jack Hartmann videos because they work on handwriting, phonological awareness and phonics combined along with movement. Here is an example ????.
The students color pictures independently so I can pull small groups together. I also encourage students to draw and try to write words on the back.
coloring beginning sounds and phonemic awareness
Click picture for resource.
Letter b Beginning sounds worksheet from Teach Magically

I hope this plan help your kiddos have fun with letters and sounds!

Teach Magically,

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