• individual sounds

    Sounds in Words: Individual Sounds

    Although speaking and listening may not seem related to learning to read, being aware of sounds in words is very important to reading. This awareness allows children to break apart words orally and use sounds to learn to read and write words. Children first need to become aware of sounds in words without relating those sounds to print. They demonstrate their knowledge using their speaking and listening skills.

    Being able to recognize the individual sounds in words is the most important skill for learning to read that is related to sound awareness. When you see a letter between forward slashes, /s/, say the sound of that letter. If you see a letter without forward slashes, s, say the name of that letter. An example of phonemic awareness is knowing that the word cat has three separate sounds (/k/ /ă/ /t/) and that the first sound in cat is /k/ and the last sound in cat is /t/. Recognizing individual sounds in a word that is spoken will eventually help children "sound out" a word when they begin to learn to read simple words. For example, a child who can hear three separate sounds in sat, /s/ /ă/ /t/, can then link a letter to each sound, s a t, and read the word sat.

    It is also helpful if children can identify beginning and ending sounds in a word. For example, in the word cat, the beginning sound is /k/ and the ending sound is /ăt/. In school, we may talk about word families. Word families are groups of words that have the same endings. For example, batcat, and sat are all in the same word family.


    Add a Sound to Make a New Word


     What's the First Sound? Song <<--PRINTABLE

    Help your child practice listening for the first sound in a spoken word.

     Add a Sound to Make a New Word <<--PRINTABLE

    Help your child practice adding a sound to a spoken word to create a new word.


    Saying Individual Sounds in Words


     Saying Individual Sounds in Words <<--PRINTABLE

    Help your child practice identifying the first, middle, and last sound in a word.


    Read Aloud and Individual Sounds in Words (There's a Wocket in My Pocket)


    Books to Share

    A list of suggested books that you can read to your child. Ask your child to identify the first, last, and middle sound of selected words.

    • There's a Wocket in My Pocket by Dr. Seuss
    • Cock-A-Doodle-Moo! by Bernard Most
    • Llama Llama Red Pajama by A. Dewdney
    • Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein