Phonological Awareness or Phonemic Awareness

Phonological Awareness Skills need to read
“They know most letters and sounds, but are they ready to read?” is a question asked by many parents and teachers of beginning readers. The answer…Maybe, not!
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Kids Reading by Teach Magically

The skills for phonological awareness skills must be mastered before the complex skill of reading can be achieved.

What is Phonological Awareness?

The ability to hear sounds that make up words in spoken language. It is the big umbrella for all the skills needed to read and write. Language can be broken down into its components:

Teach Magically umbrella of phonological awareness skills

  • sentences to words 
  • words to syllables
  • syllables to onset-rime 
  • onset-rime to phonemes


Phonological Awareness provides a strong foundation for early reading success. A systematic and cohesive approach to teaching phonological awareness can build confident readers who are less likely to struggle with decoding and spelling skills.

Students with a strong phonemic awareness are much more likely to be successful readers.

PA includes recognizing words that rhyme, deciding whether words begin or end with the same sounds, understanding that sounds can be manipulated to create new words, and separating words into their individual sounds. Check out my phonological awareness page with many ideas to teach these skills!

To build a strong reading success, children need to master Phonological Awareness Skills, especially phonemic awareness! 

What is Phonemic Awareness?


Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness in which listeners are able to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning.

Separating the spoken word “cat” into three distinct phonemes, /k/, /a/, and /t/, requires phonemic awareness. (So jump as you say each sound to make it more fun!)


Research shows that the ability to segment or separate words into parts is the biggest predictor of reading success (Stanovich,
1993).

Teach Magically Phonological Awareness segmenting

I use these  No Prep Sound (phoneme) Worksheets with BINGO dabbers…touch one square for each sound!

Writing the letters for the sounds at the bottom builds phonics skills into this fun activity.

Remember Phonemic Awareness only uses the sounds! Phonics happens when you add the letters of the alphabet.

Check out how they are related at Phonemic Awareness, Rhyming and Phonics.



Phonemic Awareness Worksheet TeachMagically
But be sure to attach the letter names after the students understand letter names! For students with difficulties learning, add the phonics at the next lesson.

Don’t forget to practice phonological awareness skills! 

Students with a strong phonemic awareness are much more likely to be successful readers. Phonological awareness provides a strong foundation for early reading success.


Teaching phonological awareness builds confident readers who are less likely to struggle with decoding and spelling skills. SO pick 1 skill and practice it daily until mastered then move on to another skill but always revisit.
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💖Debora from Teach Magically

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. 1stgradefireworks

    love the fact you make a clear distinction between phonologial awareness and phonics!Cute ideas! Wendy 1stgradefireworks

    1. Debora Marines

      Thanks, Wendy!

  2. Hilary

    Awesome post and you did a great job explaining and distinguishing between the two!

    1. Debora Marines

      Thanks! Hope it helps!

  3. CrazyCharizma

    Very thorough, thanks for the tips and info!

    1. Debora Marines

      You are very welcome!

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