What is Phonics?
Our Phonics activities are designed to help beginning readers connect letters and sounds. Try these hands-on activities, games and printables in your literacy centres.
Before we get to the phonics activities and printables here’s a few definitions of the terms associated with phonological awareness.
The terms are all related to sounds and letter knowledge but can be easily confused. Some terms are auditory and speech based and others are visual and print based, but they are often used interchangeably.
- Phonemes are the smallest unit of sound in speech.
- Phonemic awareness refers to understanding that these small units exist and make up oral language
- Phonological awareness is auditory and based on speech. It’s focussed on the ability to recognise, join and manipulate different sounds in spoken words, including onset and rime and syllables
- Phonics refers to the relationship between letters and & spoken sounds
- Phonic analysis is a method of teaching word recognition by matching letters to sounds and involve analysing consonants, vowels, blends digraphs and diphthongs
- Phonics synthesis is building up words from the sounds within them
- Graphophonics is visual and auditory. It’s focussed on print and letters representing sounds (writing).
Despite many disagreements about the technicalities of teaching reading. It is an established fact that phonemic awareness is a successful predictor of reading success (Stanovich 1994) and needs to be included in literacy teaching.
The best way to develop phonemic awareness is by including phonics activities that involve kids in recognising initial sounds, rhymes, onset and rimes and syllables.
Teaching Phonological Awareness
There are 4 main understandings that need to be developed when teaching phonological awareness:
- Word Awareness – Spoken language is made up of words
- Syllable Awareness – Words can have one or more syllables
- Onset and Rime Awareness – Single syllable words are made up of onsets and rimes
- Phonetic Awareness – words are made up of individual sounds or phonemes.
More detailed information can be found here in this FREE Department Of Education Resources, First Steps Resource Books ( Reading Conventions). They are an excellent Teacher resource and easy to read!
Click the images to start Downloading our phonics activities and printables to support early reading & spelling skills.
Please check your school plans for your sequence of learning.