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Phonological Awareness

What is Phonological Awareness?

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What is it?

Phonological Awareness is the ability to HEAR, recognize, and manipulate the spoken parts of sentences and words!


It’s being able to identify rhyming words, alliteration, segment syllables, and blending and segmenting onset-rimes. The BIG chunks of language, NOT individual sounds.

Why is it important?

*Phonological Awareness skills are crucial for young readers! 

*This is where reading skills are first developed! It all begins with listening and manipulating these larger chunks of language!

*It is because young learners can make out larger chunks of language more easily than their individual sounds.

What does my learner need to be able to do?!?!


  • Rhymes
  • Alliteration
  • Syllables
  • Onset and Rime

Let’s take a closer look at each one of these important components and ways to support your learner!


Such an important phonological awareness skill and one most students LOVE to practice!

Have some extra time in the car, standing in line at the store? Play rhyming games!rhyming

Can you think of a word that rhymes with ___? They can come up with real or silly words!

Hint: If your learner is struggling with rhyming words have them pay attention to what their mouth is doing. Does their mouth move the same way as they say two words?


Click here for a FREE Rhyming Memory Game


Words that all start with the same sound!


Example: Miss Megan munches many mushy marshmallows.

  • Make up silly sentences with words that begin with the same sound!


A syllable is a part of a word that has one vowel sound in it. There are different stages of segmenting syllables!

Blending Syllables: snow/man=snowman

Segmenting Syllables: snowman=snow/man

Syllable Deletion: Say snowman, now say snowman without snow… snow

Syllable Manipulation: Say snowman, now change man to flake… snowflake


Have fun with compound words! 

  • Say two small words and have your learner blend them together to figure out the compound word!
    • Ex: rain+bow=rainbow or snow+man=snowman


onset and rime

  • Onset: In a syllable, the onset is the first consonant. With “cat,” the onset would be /k/ 
  • Rime: The rime includes the vowel and any consonant that follows it in a syllable. For example, the rime in “cat” would be /at/.


Phonemic awareness skills are auditory. They should be taught through speaking and listening, with no printed text.


Click here for a FREE Phonemic Awareness Sorting of Sounds and Syllables!

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