Phonemic Awareness


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Sequencing Phonemic Awareness Skills

Phonemic awareness instruction typically spans two years, kindergarten and first grade. Oral activities in kindergarten focus on simple tasks such as rhyming, matching words with beginning sounds, and blending sounds into words. In first grade, phonemic awareness tasks are more advanced, focusing on blending ("Blend these sounds together "mmmm-aaaa-nnnn), segmentation ("What are the sounds in man?), and the substitution and manipulation of phonemes (e.g., Change the first sound in man to /r/. What word do you have?").

Phonemic Awareness Development Continuum

Examples of Phonemic Awareness Skills

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Curriculum Maps

Phonemic awareness skills can be taught in a particular sequence that maximizes student understanding and instructional efficiency. Phonemic awareness is only taught in kindergarten and first grade. By the end of first grade, students should have a firm grasp of phonemic awareness.

Curriculum maps list specific skills that relate to each big idea. Each skill can be taught during at an optimal time during the school year.

Click here for an explanation of how to read curriculum maps.

TIP: Go to the Curriculum Maps page in the Resources section to view and download Curriculum Maps for each Big Idea and grade.

Kindergarten Phonemic Awareness Curriculum Map

First Grade Phonemic Awareness Curriculum Map

How to read curriculum maps

The numbers in the top row of the curriculum map correspond to the months of the school year. For example, if your school year begins in September, then September would be month 1 on the map. If your school year begins in August, then August would be month one.

The shaded boxes marked with "X" represent the months in which a particular skill should be taught.

The map can be read using either a "horizontal trace" or a "vertical trace". To do a horizontal trace, you select a skill you are interested in, then trace across the row to find the months marked with an "X" for that skill. This will tell you which months a skill should be taught. To perform a vertical trace, select a particular month, then trace down the column to find the shaded boxes. The shaded boxes correspond to the skills that should be taught that month.