If you are a parent who is teaching your child pre-reading skills, then phonemic awareness is a MUST! In layman's term, PA is the ability to:
-Manipulate Sounds in Words by either segmenting or blending them
+segmenting- breaking the sounds in words apart (cat becomes c-a-t)
+blending- putting the sounds back together (the child can say the word "cat" after
hearing the sounds c-a-t)
-Some teachers actually even see segmenting as breaking sentences down into words, then break words down into sounds.
-PA also involves manipulating sounds in words.
+"What is the first sound in bat?"
+ "What do you hear at the end of dog?"
+"What do you hear in the middle of the word hut?"
All of these skills are necessary to be able to read phonetically.
If you are interested in the International Reading Association's position paper on PA, click on the following link: http://www.reading.org/downloads/positions/ps1025_phonemic.pdf
There are many activities you can do with your child to support their PA skills. I will include some of my own, but I will also include links to activity sites to help!
1. This activity can be done at home, in the car, or basically anywhere! Say a word, then tell your child you are going to say two more words. You want your child to try and pick the word that rhymes with the first word.
Ex: "I'm going to say a word. Then I'm going to say two more words. Pick a word from the two words I say last that rhyme with the first word." Give plenty of examples before expecting your child to find the rhyming word.
2. You can also ask your child questions like, "What sound do you hear at the beginning of the word ball?" This helps them identify initial sounds. Then move to the sounds at the end of a word. Finally, try to have them identify the vowel sounds in the middle of the word.
3. Show children a picture and ask them to identify the sound at the beginning, end, or middle.
If you want more activity ideas, please click on the following links to help your child grow in this area: