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a teacher helping a student make sounds with their mouth

Three Ways To Help Develop Phonemic Awareness at Home and in the Classroom

For students to become strong readers and spellers, teachers must help them develop and strengthen their phonemic awareness skills. Three important phonemic awareness skills that can benefit any student are: becoming more aware of how sounds are produced, blending words and segmenting words. Keep reading to discover how you can easily introduce each skill to your students!

Explore Sounds

table mirror

When students explore how their mouth is shaped and if their voice box is on or off, they become more aware of the differences between sounds. Say a sound such as /m/. Have your student repeat the sound while looking in a mirror and ask the student about what their mouth is doing when they say the sound /m/. 

Tip: Ask them to feel their throat as they say /m/. Try another sound, such as /p/ or /ă/, and ask them how it is different from the previous sound. 

Download this Kinesthetic Awareness of Sounds Activity to learn more! 

Blend One-Syllable Words

Practicing blending words from an auditory prompt prepares students for reading success. Choose a word like blue, segment it aloud, /b-l-ue/, and ask students to blend it. 

Take a look at this Blending One-Syllable Words Activity to discover more words you can use in your classroom or at home! 

Young child pointing to the correct answer from the phonemic awareness activity

Segment One-Syllable Words

For students to learn how to spell, they first need to be able to identify each of the sounds within the word. One fun way to practice segmenting is to gather the following objects: hat, sock, plate, pan, pen, fork, spoon, book and place them on a table. Ask the student to segment a word, and you point to the correct object.  

Download this Segmenting One-Syllable Words Activity for another fun way to practice.

Would you like to learn more about the importance of Phonemic Awareness? Our Phonemic Awareness page is catered to meet your and your students' needs!

Downloadable phonemic awareness activities available on
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