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Lesson Plan

Building Phonemic Awareness With Phoneme Isolation

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Three 25-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Sarah Dennis-Shaw

Avon, Massachusetts


International Literacy Association


Student Objectives

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • Chant beginning and ending phonemes in words

  • Match objects with the same beginning or ending sound

  • Identify whether a key phoneme occurs at the beginning or end of a word

  • Connect phonemes with written letters

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Session 1

1. Using the bag of objects, pull one object out of the bag. Ask students to identify the object. Ask them what sound they hear at the end of the word. Have students make the sound (e.g., /n/ for can).

2. Begin a chant by slapping knees and clapping hands with the object. For example, if the object was a can, the chant would go:
can – slap knees, clap hands

can – slap knees, clap hands

/n/ /n/ can – snapping three times
3. Continue the chant with all objects in the bag. NOTE: be sure to alternate the chant between beginning and ending sounds.

4. Display the transparency or enlarged worksheet from the lesson pack (the third page with the picture of the ear).

5. Say each object aloud and ask students which sound they hear at the end of the word. If they are able, have students identify the correct letter for that phoneme. If not, tell the students which letter makes that sound.

6. Have a student volunteer circle the correct letter.

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Session 2

1. Have students sit in a circle and tell them that they are going to play a sound game.

2. Give the students two signals – one for if they hear the sound at the beginning of the word, and one if they hear the sound at the end of the word. For example, they could hop on one foot if the sound is at the beginning, or two feet if the sound is at the end.

3. Give students a key phoneme to listen for (e.g., /m/, /s/) Ask students, "Where do you hear the / /?" Then say a word aloud and have students give the appropriate signal if the sound is at the beginning or end of the word.

4. Continue the game several times, alternating between beginning and ending sounds.

5. Display the transparency or enlargement of page four of the lesson pack (the worksheet with the picture of the jeep). Point to the last letter and ask students the sound the letter makes (/p/). Then have students say the name of the picture aloud (jeep). Ask a student volunteer to write the letter p at the beginning or end of the word, depending on where they hear the key sound.

6. Complete the worksheet together in the same manner.

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Session 3

1. Gather students into a circle and tell them that they are going to play another game.

2. Get the set of index cards you prepared previously. Begin with either the beginning sound pairs or the ending sound pairs. It is important to do one set of cards at a time so that students will not mix up their partners or not end up with a partner.

3. Choose half of the students and give them each an index card. At the signal, tell students that they must find their partner who has the card with the same sound (beginning or ending depending on which set you're using).

4. Switch off and allow the other half of the students to play.

5. Pass out the first worksheet (the one with the picture of a leg) to students and ask them to complete it independently.

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  • The phonemic awareness activities should be ongoing. Have students continue doing the games and activities with increasingly harder words.

  • Dictate a word aloud and have students "air write" or write on paper the letter they hear at the beginner or end of the word.

  • Give students additional practice with beginning-letter sounds by having them play the Picture Match game. They can also use the game to practice ideintifying short- and long-vowel sounds.

  • To extend these activities and challenge students, use the last worksheet in the lesson pack or have them play the Puzzle Me Words game. This game has students listen to a word read aloud and then drag and drop letters to spell it. At the beginner level, students can focus on one short-vowel sound at a time.

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Students should be assessed through observation and anecdotal notes during the games and activities. Students can also be assessed using the worksheet they complete individually to see if they are able to isolate the phonemes.

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