Before we start let’s first understand that, Phonemic awareness is not phonics(Read the post here for detailed information).
Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds-phonemes–in spoken words. Before children learn to read print, they need to become more aware of how the sounds in words work. They must understand that words are made up of speech sounds, or phonemes (the smallest parts of sound in a spoken word that make a difference in a word’s meaning). Phonemic Awareness Activities are to be practiced alongside with Phonics Level 1. Check out the Phonics Curriculum Bundle here or Just Phonics Curriculum Level 1 here.
Now let’s see the 5 activities that we can do to improve the Phonemic Awareness skills of the child.
- Uppercase/Lowercase Sort and Match : As you can see in the images below, the activity can change as the child evolves and learn. So, first, start with matching Uppercase to Uppercase, and Lowercase to Lowercase, and once the child is thorough with that, we can slowly introduce both together. Matching Lowercase to Uppercase or Uppercase to Lowercase. And after that, sorting the two into correct Category. All small letters into Lowercase Category and all big letters into Uppercase Category. All of these activities help the child to identify and sort the Alphabet into correct Categories i.e. Uppercase and Lowercase.
- Finding Alphabet from a group of Letters, Numbers and even Words : In this activity, write down many letters, numbers, and words(if the child is in kindergarten only) on a page of paper or in a notebook, as seen below. Now give a sketch pen, marker or even a highlighter to the child and ask him to recognize just the letters from the group and circle them or highlight them. This will help him to identify and distinguish between letters and numbers and know where to use both.
- Match or Find the Vowels : Now, vowels play an important role in learning to read, because of two reasons : Each word is made up with a vowel in it, so children must be able to identify them in learning to read words, for that they must know their vowels well. And secondly, Vowels make various different sounds, and don’t have a particular sound as Consonants in the English Language, so it becomes more important to focus correctly on the vowels from the beginning. So there are two activities that you can do to practice vowels, as shown below. First is a simple matching activity, On a sheet of paper or in a notebook or using Magnetic Letters, ask the child to match the two same vowels together. This activity will help the child in Recognition of the vowels and knowing their names and sounds too. And the Second Activity is to find vowels only, from a group of letters or from words. This activity allows them to focus more on the vowels and helps them to identify those vowels.
- What’s Missing ? : This is a very simple and straight-forward activity to learn and understand the sequence of the letters in the Alphabet. You can do this activity in various different ways, using Manipulatives like Magnetic Letters, Alphabet Stickers, or Dot stickers, or just a pen and paper will work too. As you see in the picture below, I have written the whole Alphabet sequence with a few blanks in between for Ridhima to fill it in. This is how, the activity will work. Depending on your child’s age and stage of learning, give them a few or more letters to practice this skill.
- Beginning Sounds game, using Objects around the house : Collect a few objects from around the home, take your child with you and show and tell them the object’s name and use. And also tell the letter that object starts with. You can also practice the beginning sounds here. During the activity, show the child one object/picture(as shown below) at a time and ask the child to tell the beginning sound of the object and the letter name with which the object starts. This activity helps the child to understand the letter names and sounds respectively.
This sums up for today’s Phonemic Awareness Activities post. I hope this post helps you all to keep practicing these skills at home with your children. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below , and I will address to them asap. Thanks!
P.S. : If you want to learn Phonics, and need a complete Curriculum to teach your children, check out our flagship “The Reading Classroom – Online Phonics Program for Parents and Teachers” here.