Phonemic Awareness


Phonemic Awareness Strategies:

(Create or use a tic-tac-toe gameboard to make learning fun!  For every correct answer, you and your child can place an "x" or "o" in a square.  Game time learning is over when three in a row wins!)


  • Sequence of Sounds - Order (beginning, ending, middle sounds)

-Elkonian Boxes

-Say a 2-3 sound word.


-Child repeats the word.


-Child stretches the word slowly to hear sounds.


-Child breaks apart into individual sounds.

("/p/ /o/ /p/")

-Child counts the sounds.

("/p/ /o/ /p/ = 3 sounds" - 2 are the same sound)

-Child uses objects to show number of sounds.

(different sounds = different items)

-Ask child to isolate a specific sound.

(beginning, ending, or middle sound)


  • Nonsense Words


-Say a word.

-Child rhymes with a new word.

(can be real or nonsense - discuss meaning for vocabulary)


  • Clapping Names - Syllables (parts of a word)


-Say a word.


-Clap for each part of the word.

("ap" "ple")


  • Finding Things - Initial Phonemes

-I Spy

-Say the phrase "I spy something that begins with ...".


-Child says item that begins with the same sound given.

("car", "kitten", etc...)

-Give clues if your child struggles to find the object.

(it's on the shelf, it's green, etc...)


  • Take a Sound Away - Analysis


-Say a word.


-Child repeats the word.


-Say the word without a sound.


-Child repeats the word.


-Ask child which sound disappeared.


-Variation: ask child to remove a sound.

(take away the first sound = "unch")


  • Add a Sound - Synthesis


-Say a word.


-Child repeats the word.


-Add a sound.

("add /h/ to the beginning...hhhhh")

-Child repeats the sound and word.

("hhhhh op...hop")


  • Two Sound Words - Two Phonemes Blend


-Say a two-sound word using individual sounds.

("/n/ /o/")

-Child repeats sounds and blends to say word.

("/n/ /o/")


  • Troll Talk - Blend Sounds into Words


-(same as two sound word blend above, except more sounds - bigger words)



Adams, M.J., Foorman, B., Lundberg, I., & Beeler, T. (2004).  Phonemic activities for the preschool or elementary classroom.  Readingrockets.  Retrieved March 10, 2009, from