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Knowledge and Skills Statement

Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--beginning reading and writing. The student develops word structure knowledge through phonological awareness, print concepts, phonics, and morphology to communicate, decode, and spell.

Provide the following instructions to students.

Adding Phonemes:

● We are going to add to the first sound in this word. Say ____ with _____.

○ Say /g/ with old = gold

○ Say /sh/ with rink = shrink

○ Say /ch/ with at = chat

○ Say /p/ with lace = place

○ Say /s/ with till = still

● We are going to add to the last sound in this word. Say ____ with ______.

○ Add /t/ to pass = past

○ Add /n/ to my = mine

○ Add /m/ to say = same

○ Add /t/ to way = weight

○ Add /k/ to par = park

Changing Phonemes:

● Initial Sound Substitution:

○ Say the word bad. In the word bad, change /b/ to /s/—(sad)

○ Say the word star. In the word car, change /c/ to /st/—(star)

○ Say the word west. In the word pest, change /p/ to /w/—(west)

● Final Sound Substitution:

○ Say clown. Now change the /n/ to /d/—(cloud)

○ Say flat. Now change the /t/ to /p/—(flap)

○ Say sleep. Now change the /p/ to /k/—(sleek)

● Middle Sound Substitution

○ Say the word cot. In the word cot, change /o/ to /O/—(coat)

○ Say the word pin. In the word pin, change /i/ to I/—(pine)

○ Say the word tug. In the word tug, change /u/ to /a/—tag

Deleting Phonemes:

We are going to remove the first sound in this word. Say ____ without the _____.

● Say spread without /sp/. (read)

● Say hand without /h/. (and)

● Say crate without /cr/. (ate)

● Say bring without /b/. (ring)

● Say part without /p/. (part)

We are going to remove the last sound in this word. Say ____ without the ______.

● Say rose without /z/. (row)

● Say inch without /ch/. (inch)

● Say train without /n/. (tray)

● Say bake without /k/. (bay)

● Say beat without /t/. (bee)


● When assessing these skills, it is helpful to provide a kinesthetic movement to each manipulation process to help students understand what they are supposed to do. For example, students can push their fists forward for adding, pull and hide their hands when removing, etc.

● The words do not always have to be real words This activity can be done with nonsense words, but real words make it easier when students are beginning to work on this skill.

A base word is a linguistic unit, or word, that can stand on its own and have meaning; it can be modified by adding prefixes and/or suffixes to form related words. (e.g., teach in “teacher”; mark in “remarking”)

In this context, this means that the students must be able to manipulate a word that can stand on its own. Students should not be manipulating words with prefixes or suffixes, but instead base words only. (e.g. fast, park, hear)
A phoneme is the smallest meaningful unit of sound in speech (e.g., the /s//ă//d/ of sad).
Phonological awareness is the ability to detect and manipulate the sounds structures of spoken language, including recognizing differently sized sound parts (i.e., phrases, words, syllables, phonemes) and manipulating those parts (i.e., blend, segment, delete, add, and change).


Baker, S. K., Beattie, T., Nelson, N. J., & Turtura, J. (2018). How We Learn to Read: The Critical Role of Phonological Awareness. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Special Education Programs, National Center on Improving Literacy. Retrieved from

Summary: Phonological awareness involves being able to recognize and manipulate the sounds within words. This skill is a foundation for understanding the alphabetic principle and reading success. There are several ways to effectively teach phonological awareness to prepare early readers, including: 1) teaching students to recognize and manipulate the sounds of speech, 2) teaching students letter-sound relations, and 3) teaching students to manipulate letter-sounds in print using word-building activities.