Upon completion of this unit, the participant will be able to:
- Discriminate and count the number of phonemes in spoken words.
- Demonstrate phonemic segmentation.
- Demonstrate phonemic blending.
Recall the following important pieces of information from Unit One:
- Phonemes are the smallest units of sound that make up words.
- Phonemes are represented in writing by graphemes (ie. letters or combinations of letters).
- Understanding how phonemes and graphemes related to each other is important for learning to decode.
As discussed in Unit One, phonemic awareness is "the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in spoken words" (Armbruster, et. al., 2003). This unit will focus on important phonemic awareness skills including the ability to identify individual phonemes in words, separate or segment the phonemes in words, and blend together separate phonemes to create words.
The photo above contains a picture of a pen. The word pen has three letters - "p", "e", and "n". Each of these letters represents a distinct phoneme, so there are three phonemes in the word "pen". Say the word "pen" aloud. Now say the sound for each letter separately - the sound represented by "p", the sound represented by "e", and the sound represented by "n". Saying each phoneme separately like that is what is refered to as segmenting.
Try segmenting the phonemes for the word that represents the item in the following photo:
Did you find three phonemes? The first phoneme is represented by the letters "kn"; the second phoneme is represented by the letter "i" and the final "e" marker that indicates the long vowel sound for "i"; and the third phoneme is represented by the letter "f". Say each of these phonemes aloud with a pause between each of them. That's segmenting!
The opposite of segmenting is blending. Blending means taking the separate phonemes and saying them in a connected way to create a word. For example, say
- the sound represented by the letter "c" (hard c as in cat), then
- the sound represented by the letter "u" (as a short vowel), then
- the sound represented by the letter "p",then
- say them again in rapid sequence to create a word.
What word did you say? Was it "cup" like the one shown below?
Try to blend the following phonemes into a word:
- Say the sound represented by "m".
- Say the sound represented by "ou" or "ow" (make it rhyme with cow).
- Say the sound represented by "s".
- Say all of the sounds in rapid sequence to create a word.
What word did you say? Was it "mouse" like the one shown below? That's blending!
Segmenting and blending are important skills in phonemic awareness and these skills can be taught to children.
- Count the phonemes in the word that names the object in the following photo:
- Segment the phonemes in the word that names the object in the following photo:
- Try to blend the following phonemes into a word:
- Say the sound represented by "ph".
- Say the sound represented by "i" (make it the short vowel sound).
- Say the sound represented by "k".
- Say the sound represented by "sh".
- Say the sound represented by "u" (make it the short vowel sound).
- Say the sound represented by "n".
What word did you say?
For Teacher feedback, click this link at File:UnitTwo.wma Please be aware that you may need to use your Back button to return to this page after listening to the Teacher feedback.
- How many ways can segmenting and blending be brought into the classroom? Think about the activities that already occur in the course of an ordinary day in your classroom and write about the ways segmenting and blending could be added to those activities.
You have completed Unit Two. You may proceed to Unit Three now.