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Phonological Awareness. Ann Morrison, Ph.D. Phonological Awareness. Is an umbrella term over the following: Listening for sounds Rhyming Syllabication

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Phonological awareness

Phonological Awareness

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.

Phonological awareness1
Phonological Awareness

  • Is an umbrella term over the following:

    • Listening for sounds

    • Rhyming

    • Syllabication

    • Phonemic awareness – phonemic awareness refers to a student’s ability to blend, segment, delete, add, and manipulate individual sounds within words

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.

Phonological grain size
Phonological Grain Size

  • Larger phonological grain sizes are longer utterances

    • Easier to hear and understand

  • Smaller grain sizes are brief sounds

    • More difficult to hear and understand

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.

Phonological awareness2

Larger Grain Size Smaller Grain Size

Phonological Awareness

  • Phonemic awareness

  • Syllabication

  • Rhyming

  • Attention to sound

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.

Phonological awareness vs phonics
Phonological Awareness vs. Phonics

Phonological Awareness


Includes letters as well as sounds

  • The manipulation of sounds and can be done with the eyes closed

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.

Matthew effects of reading
Matthew Effects of Reading

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.

Attention to sound
Attention to Sound

  • Separating sounds

  • Distinguishing between sounds

  • Sequencing sounds

  • Location of sounds

  • Identifying same and different sounds

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.

Activity listening for sounds
Activity: Listening for Sounds

  • Sit quietly for 15 seconds, what did you hear?

  • Sit quietly for another 15 seconds, what did you hear first, second, third, etc.

  • Did you see the sounds being made? If not, how did you know what made the sounds?

  • Did any two sounds overlap? If so, how did you know they were two separate sounds?

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.


  • Word endings that sound the same

  • Spelling doesn’t matter

  • Onset-rime

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.

Rhyming game
Rhyming Game

  • Teacher says a word

  • Student says a rhyming word

  • Go through all of the rhymes you can think of until you are repeating yourself

  • Words don’t need to be “real” words, nonsense words are fine

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.


  • A syllable is a unit of spoken language

  • Consists of a vowel with a consonant or consonants before and/or after the vowel

  • Closed syllables make the short vowel sound: at, napkin

  • Open syllables make the long vowel sound: so, human

  • Syllables influence the rhythm, stress, and prosody of spoken words (emphasis on the right syllable)

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.

Phonemic awareness
Phonemic Awareness

  • Smallest units of sound

  • Addition

  • Deletion

  • Substitution

  • Manipulation

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.

Explicit instruction
Explicit Instruction

  • Give instructions: I am going to say a word and I want you to say a rhyming word

  • Model: For example, if I say mop, you could say hop, top, cop, rop, fop, or another rhyming word.

  • Practice: Ready, let’s try one.

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.

Error correction
Error Correction

Sometimes students will not be able to do what you ask them to do

  • Acknowledge something the student did right

  • Model the correct answer

  • Have them say the correct answer with you, maybe repeat if necessary

  • Have them try again

  • Don’t make them guess

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.

Matching initial sounds activity
Matching Initial Sounds Activity

  • Take a look at the items on your table

  • What are possible names for or ways to describe the items on your table?

  • One person picks an item and says a word to describe it, emphasizing the initial sound

  • Everyone else at the table looks for an item with the same initial sound

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.

Initial and final sounds activity
Initial and Final Sounds Activity

  • One person picks an item and says a word to describe it, emphasizing the final sound

  • The next person picks an object that begins with the final sound of the previous object and says it’s name

  • The third person finds an object that begins with the final sound of the previous object, and so on.

Ann Morrison, Ph.D.