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Phonemic Awareness: Activities for Beginning Sounds in CVC Words

Previously, I shared the importance of phonemic awareness development among young readers. If you missed that post, you can access it here. Still, knowing about phonemic awareness is one thing; knowing how to appropriately help your students develop it is another. Speaking from experience, I know that it really helps if you have some structured activities to guide you while you're guiding them... especially in those early years of teaching!

Today, I want to share one of my own resources for daily phonemic awareness practice. It focuses on basic CVC words, so it is a great tool for helping young readers practice sound manipulation. Also, since these activities are built upon the structure of word families, they reinforce rhyme, which is another crucial component of developing phonemic awareness. So you get a double whammy with this one!

I created this to use with my own students, and it's great quick, but effective, activity to use daily in small-group instruction. As students become familiar with the routine and gain proficiency with sound manipulation, you can even transition this to use as a partner exercise.

So, here's a step-by-step explanation of how to assemble this product. After that, we'll talk about how to use it. Both are super easy.

So this is where you start. 

The product includes the following color-coded word families: -at, -an, -ap, -ag, -en, -et, -ed, -it, -ip, -ig, -ob, -ot, -op, -ug, -um, -un. 

For each word family, there are six cards with instructions for beginning sound manipulation. With 16 word families included, that means this product contains a total of 96 cards for phonemic awareness exercises with word families!

After printing those, get your paper-cutter ready, and cut them out. They are all aligned squares, so this part goes pretty quickly.

Then punch holes in the top left corners.

Last, use a book ring to attach the cards. 

And that's it! You can bind the word families separately, or you can attach them all together with a big ring. I prefer to bind word families for the same vowel together, so I can easily choose the vowel sound on which to focus my instruction each day.

Now you are ready to use these activities with your students! As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, these are ideal for small-group instruction, but you could certainly use them with students one-on-one if your schedule and class size affords that luxury! 

Each card contains instructions for a listening activity. Guiding students through the activity is easy. Simply read the instructions on the cards. Students will listen to the word, repeat the word, and then change the beginning sound (as instructed) to make a new word. The instructions and answers for each substitution are provided on each card. You can spice it up by having students close their eyes to help them really focus on hearing the instructions.

Of course, as students gain proficiency with this skill, you can turn it into a student-directed activity. Simply have more advanced students work in pairs, with one student reading the cards and the other following the instructions.  You can put these rings in a basket for fun free-time activities for your students as well!

If you are interested in learning more about these activities, you can access them here in the Tally Tales TPT store.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact me directly through the contact form.


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