Phonemic Awareness is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in spoken words. Examples of this include recognizing which words in a set of words begin with the same sound ("Bell, bike, and boy all have the /b/ at the beginning."), isolating the first or last sound in a word ("The beginning sound of dog is /d/."), combining or blending the separate sounds in a word to say the word ("/m/, /a/, /p/ -- map"), or breaking and segmenting a word into its separate sounds ("up--/u/, /p/.").

Before children learn to read print, they must understand that words are made up of speech sounds, or phonemes. Children can show they understand phonemic awareness by identifying and making oral rhymes, identifying parts of words (clapping syllables or word parts) or identifying and working with onsets and rimes in spoken one word syllables.

P's in a Podcast: A podcast with a collection of phonemic awareness activities and games to play for emerging readers.

Game Goo: A fun and interactive site that gives your phonemic awareness skills a workout!

KidzSing Garden of Songs: Sing along to instruments that play many popular children's songs and include the lyrics. The sound files require RealPlayer, but run very quickly.