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Letter & Word Sounds

Phonological awareness is the ability to notice, think about, and use individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken language. For example, hearing the difference between pat versus cat or cat versus cut. It is the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in spoken words and the understanding that spoken words and syllables are made up of sequences of speech sounds. Phonological awareness is a critical part of learning to read and write and is used for spelling and decoding words.

Research indicates that the most common cause of early reading difficulties is a weakness in children’s phonological processing skills. Studies indicate that 10 minutes a day of intentional instruction that is playful and engaging for children can make a difference for children’s emerging reading skills.

Abby Brown, Early Literacy Specialist


Games You Can Play at Home to Build Phonological Skills:

  • Rhyming
  • Singing songs
  • Reciting nursery rhymes, tongue twisters, and riddles
  • Playing word games
  • Choosing books for reading aloud that focus on targeted sounds

Books to Share to Practice Phonological Awareness:

Bear Snores On Brown Bear Brown Bear The Cat in the Hat
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Each Peach Pear Plum Five Little Monkeys
Goodnight Moon Green Eggs and Ham Hand Hand Fingers Thumb
Head Shoulds Knees and Toes How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight I Went Walking
Jesse Bear What Do You Wear? King Bidgood's in the Bathtub The Lady With the Alligator Purse
Llama Llama Red Pajama Madeline Move Over Rover
My First Mother Goose The Napping House Orange Pear Apple Bear
Over in the Meadow Sheep in a Jeep Skippyjon Jones
The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly We're Going on a Bear Hunt
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