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Online Professional Learning and
Technical Assistance for
21st Century Community Learning Centers

Playing With Sounds


Watch the coaching session above to gain ideas for planning and implementing high-quality, literacy activities in phonemic awareness.

Phonological awareness describes a broad skill that includes the ability to recognize and manipulate parts of spoken language, such as words, syllables, onsets and rimes. Phonemic awareness refers to the specific ability to focus on and manipulate individual sounds, or phonemes in spoken words.

Phonemes are the smallest units of sound in spoken language. There are 44 of them in English. For example, the word pat has three phonemes: /p/  /a/  /t/,  as does the word thin: /th/  /i/  /n/.

Phonemic awareness is the foundation for spelling and recognizing words. It is one of the best predictors of how well young children will acquire reading skills during kindergarten and first grade. You can promote phonemic awareness through games and word play.

Here are some easy ways to incorporate word play into your 21st CCLC Program:


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