Building Phonemic Awareness With Phoneme Isolation
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In this phonemic awareness lesson designed for a first-grade classroom, students engage in games and chants to recognize the same sounds in different words. Students match objects with the same beginning or ending sound, identify whether a given sound occurs at the beginning or ending of a word, and connect phonemes with graphemes.
From Theory to Practice
- Phonemic awareness, which is the awareness that speech consists of a sequence of sounds, should be a priority in early reading instruction.
- Phonemic awareness instruction should provide students with "linguistic stimulation in the form of storytelling, word games, rhymes, and riddles."
- Phonemic awareness instruction should move from rhyming words to smaller units of sound, and finally to individual phonemes
- Phonemic awareness instruction can be strictly oral or may include some sort of concrete cue.
Common Core Standards
This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.
This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.
NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts
- 11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
- 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
Materials and Technology
- Paper bag
- Select objects/object images
- Chart paper
- Index cards
- Overhead projector (optional)
|1.||Before teaching this lesson, gather several objects with the same beginning or ending sound and put them in a paper bag. Some ideas might be a car and a jar, a nail and a nest, and so on.
|2.||Copy the fourth and fifth pages of the School Specialty Intervention Lesson Pack: Phonemic Awareness (they have a picture of a jeep and an ear, respectively) onto a transparency or enlarge on a photocopier.
|3.||Create sets of index cards (enough for each student to have one index card) with pictures that have the same beginning or ending sound. Each index card should have only one picture on it. The following pictures can be used:
When the index cards are complete, separate them into pairs that have the same beginning sound and pairs that have the same ending sound.
|4.||Photocopy a class set of the first worksheet (the one with a picture of a leg) for students to complete independently.
- 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
|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
|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.
|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.
|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.
- 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.
Student Assessment / Reflections
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.