Awareness in the Classroom
Final Project Directions
As a final project, you will develop plans for teaching phonemic awareness in your
classroom, including plans for assessment procedures, analysis, and activities. This
final project template will also include one example of a phonemic awareness
assessment and analysis on a student.
Your plans should incorporate at least one of the technology tools explored in this
course and include details for other types of phonemic awareness strengthening
Complete this template as the course progresses. This template is due to your
facilitator at the end of Session Six. At that time, your facilitator will review your final
project and provide feedback for you in the Notes section.
Part I: General Information
First grade. My classroom is a 1st – 3rd grade classroom.
LESSON BLOCK LENGTH:
Is Phonemic Awareness currently being addressed in your classroom? If so, how? If you are not currently teaching in a
classroom, please fill out this template as if you are teaching in the classroom of your choice.
Currently, phonemic awareness is not being addressed in my classroom as part of the general curriculum. Children who have
tested significantly below their DRA target level receive one on one instruction with a reading specialist several times a week. In
their sessions, phonemic awareness is one of the activities they do (but to what extent I do not know).
Part II: Phonemic Awareness
Reflect on one of the readings from this session. Some guiding questions could be: Why is phonemic awareness an important
step in learning to read? Do you currently assess student’s phonemic awareness? If not, what are the early indicators that
allow you to identify if a student is at risk of reading difficulty?
Hoover’s article, “The Importance of Phonemic Awareness in Learning to Read”, focuses on the relationship between reading and
phonemic awareness. While he is cautious to not imply causation between reading and PA, he supports a correlation between the
two variables though various research studies. Especially regarding decoding, Hoover argues that phonemic awareness is linked
with success in reading in a language based on an alphabet. As phonemic awareness is an ability to recognize the basic sounds
that can make or change the meanings in words, it serves as a link between written and spoken language.
Phonemic awareness is three fold: understanding that it is the most basic unit in language that is able to make a difference in
what a meaning of a word is, being conscious about what these basic units actually are, and being skilled in manipulating various
phonemes to alter the meaning of words. Studies have shown that students who have difficulty with reading tend to have weak
phonemic awareness. Schools historically have not focused greatly on explicit instruction in acquiring phonemic awareness, which
could be why some students have not acquired it in their early years. Studies have shown groups of students who had explicit
instruction in phonemic awareness to have growth in their reading development.
When decoding words in reading, it is important for a student to view the words on a page and be able to connect it with its
Currently, I am not assessing a student’s phonemic awareness. As a new teacher, I have so far been identifying at risk students
through the DRA assessments provided by the school. The DRAs have assessed their reading comprehension and ability to
decode. My students who are at risk have tested at below basic on their DRA assessments.
Part III: Linguistic Components
From the Yopp article, which activities look promising and intriguing? After reviewing the Yopp article, I especially liked one of
their ideas for onset rhyme manipulation, “Going on a Word Hunt,” where the students follow the teacher in slapping their
toes and knees rhythmically to practice the onset and rime of various one syllable words and eventually blend them
together. I think it is fun because a lot of students already know the chant “Going on a Bear Hunt,” and it would be a fun
group activity for students to practice. I also really liked the idea of the scavenger hunt in Yopp’s article, where there is a
bag with different letters and the children draw out a letter and then have to find walk around the classroom to find objects
that begin with that letter. Another one that was intriguing was the “Teacher, May I” game, where the children line up at the
other end of the classroom and the teacher says “You may jump forward the number of times there are in the word (insert
word here, i.e. bunny).”
Which ones might be easiest to incorporate into your current curriculum? Of the activities listed above, I think “Going on a Word
Hunt” and the bag of letters game will pair well with the current curriculum and set up of the classroom. The children like
to to do things in groups and have enjoyed doing other scavenger hunt activities in the classroom.
Which activities, before assessing your students, do you think would benefit your classroom most? I think the “Going on a Word
Hunt” and the bag of letters game would benefit my classroom the most out of the activities that are listed in the Yopp
article. The former is beneficial because of its simplicity and non-competitive nature of the activity; where everyone can just
sit together and do an activity without winning or losing. The latter is nice because it would allow for some of my students
who like to walk around to have work to do that suits them.
Part IV: Audio Recording Practice
Share your URL to your practice audio recording here:
Reflect on this practice. How do you imagine audio recordings will help you teach and your students learn about phonemic
awareness? I really enjoyed this activity, because it reminded me that careful listening is just as important as reading. It
brings up to my attention how acquiring phonemic awareness is a skill that requires using both skills in listening and
reading, and to understand the connection between the two will aid in teaching phonemic awareness. Audio recordings can
help both myself in improving the pronunciation of sounds as well as my students. It was also great learning the
representation of what these sounds look like on paper.
Part V: Student Assessment
Which assessment will you be using on your student?
I used the Younger Student Assessment (the same one that was used for the video companion).
Insert the URL of your audio-recorded assessment with a student here.
Part VI: Analysis
After completing an assessment on a student or small child, you will reflect on their scores using the appropriate worksheet.
What stands out to you most? What stood out to me the most was this child’s ability to switch from the various phoneme
assessment activity with ease. He did well in all the areas, and it was clear that he felt confident in doing this assessment
and was enjoying it.
Reflect on the areas of student strength. This child did the best in the section on recognizing rhyme. He got all the answers
in this section correct, and was able to identify whether the pair of words rhymed or not fairly quickly.
Reflect on the areas of student weakness. In the assessment section for phoneme segmentation fluency, this child got
20/25 opportunities for phoneme segmentations correct. For the words birds and boots, he thought that the “ds” in birds
and the “ts” in boots was one sound instead of /d/ and /s/, or /t/ and /s/. He also thought, in the word “hung,” that the
“ng” in hung was one sound as opposed to a separate /n/ and /g/ sound. These are examples of phoneme omissions. But,
for the word “used,” this child thought there was an extra phoneme. Instead of /u/ /z/ and /d/, the child thought that it
is /u/ /z/ /e/ /d/.
Part VII: Strategies
Include strategies you will use in your classroom here.
Products and Performances:
Questions relevant to your lesson: Will this segmentation activity help the child isolate the phonemes of a word? Does this
blending activity allow for the child to first hear how the phonemes sound like, both distinctly and also blended together?
“Going on a Word Hunt” – blending
Initial phoneme identification, comparing, and matching with picture cards – segmentation
Scavenger hunt (letters) – initial phoneme identification
Initial phoneme identification (with picture cards) : Explicit instruction, and experiential learning (in the game extension). Through explicit
instruction and experiential learning, students will have an opportunity to practice the blending and segmentation of phonemes. Blending exercises
that are initially modeled by the teacher will allow the child to learn how to identify the onset of a word. By given opportunities for experiential
learning, children have a chance to practice what they learned earlier, except now it is done at their own pace and possibly with a peer to make it
Going on a Word Hunt – explicit instruction as the teacher is guiding the children in learning this activity and explaining what they are doing before
the children join in.
Scavenger hunt (letters): experiential learning as it gives students an opportunity to seek, analyze, and process information on their own.
Specific Skills to be developed: Students will increase their phonemic awareness; they will be able to segment the onset
and rime of various words; they will be able to identify and compare the beginning sounds of various words
Part VII: Strategies, cont.
Include strategies you will use in your classroom here.
Activities and Procedure:
Going on a Word Hunt: The children are called to a group and asked to sit in a circle. The book, We are Going on a Bear Hunt is read; after which
the teacher invites the children to go on a word hunt. Using the same chant from the book, the teacher models how to slap the toes and knees and
performs the song once through, using the word “map”. The teacher does one line, and then the children copy her. Single syllable words are used for
Initial Phoneme (onset) Awareness Using Picture Cards. Picture cards are laid out in a 6 by 6 grid. The teacher reviews the names of the objects on
the cards, and emphasizes the onset sound of each word. The teacher then asks the student, “Can you point to a picture that has the beginning
sound o(inset onset sound here)?” The teacher repeats this process several times until the student has reviewed and can correctly identify the onset
sound of each word. Finally, the teacher picks up the picture matching cards one at a time and asks the student, “What is the first sound of this
word?” The teacher rotates through the cards until the student identifies all the sounds that are being practiced in the activity.
Scavenger Hunt (letters): The children are called to a group and divided into teams. There are pre made bags with a letter in them, as well as a
corresponding picture card that shows that initial sound that letter will make (i.e. the letter “t” and the picture card of a train could be in one bag
together). The teacher takes a bag and models how to choose a letter out of the bag, saying the sound aloud, and also saying the picture card object
aloud. She then passes out the other bags with other letters to the teams. Students open the bags, and repeat what the teacher just did. Then, she
asks the student to look around the room, find an object that begins with that sound, and walk over and retrieve it.
Extensions and modifications:
Initial Phoneme (onset) Awareness Using Picture Cards. A memory game is played where the picture cards are placed faced down, and the student
is asked to pick two cards and flip them over, and then say the initial phoneme as well as the whole word for the picture cards. If the two picture
cards have matching initial phonemic sounds, then the child can get to keep the pair of cards.
Scavenger Hunt (letters): More advanced students can have a bag with a letter and two picture cards that show the different sounds it could have
(i.e. the letter C and pictures cards up a cup and celery). They could try finding objects in the classroom to represent both sounds of that letter.
“Going on a Word Hunt”: Teacher can create a podcast of one syllable words for the student to use for this activity. Students can record themselves
also to monitor their progress in blending the word. Later, the audio content can be used as an informal assessment of student progress.
Materials and Resources Needed:
Initial phoneme (onset) awareness using picture cards: Picture cards from Neinhuis materials or other educational vendors.
Bag of letters: cut out letters from Neinhuis materials or other educational vendors, picture cards
“Going on a word hunt”: none
Websites used: http://www.fcrr.org/curriculum/PDF/G2-3/2-3PA_1.pdf
References : Yopp article: “Supporting Phonemic Awareness Development in the Classroom” Hellie Kay and Ruther Helen Yopp. The
Reading Teacher. Vol. 54, No. 2 October 2000.
Part VIII: Common Core Standards
Please list all relevant Common Core Standards here, as well as any relevant Massachusetts Proposed Additional Standards.
.K.2c Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.
It also partly supports this following Common Core Standard by asking the student to isolate and pronounce the initial phoneme.
.K.2d Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme
(consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words.1 (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)
Part IX: Technology
Include technology strategies you will use in your classroom here, noting also your access to computers and other
required hardware. You may also consider using your newfound podcasting skills in a creative way to help students with
In my classroom, technology is currently kept at a minimum. Currently, there is no access to computers for the children.
Being a new teacher in a new classroom, I am cautious to introduce too many things at once. There are already more than
enough activities that the children can do without a computer or SmartBoard. I was worried that a hasty implementation of
a computer with a poorly chosen computer program would be a time waster. However, the reading from this week has made
me reconsider, as I can see the benefits of having a computer available. With testing being increasingly computerized,
students at a younger age are now responsible for knowing how to use a computer and having some typing skills.
After this course and reviewing the various activities that are already available on the internet, I can see great benefits now
for using a computer to build phonemic awareness. For one, the audio component is incredibly beneficial, as having that
could essential turn many phonemic awareness activities into independent work for a student who is ready. Using iTunes and
podcast creation tools, it would not be difficult to create a sequential set of phonemic listening activities that students can
work through independently. Also, I can now see great benefit in the phoneme games available online. It will provide a break
for the students, while still being educational.
I received news recently that a computer will soon be put into my classroom. I plan on also getting the SmartBoard set up
and running, as it could allow me to show a group a students how to do a phonemic awareness activity online before
allowing them to work on it independently.
Part X: Reflection
Please use this section to reflect on your phonemic awareness plans and the process you have undergone in this course.
Include the key points of your learning and how it will change your classroom instruction.
This course has been very beneficial to me, as Jean was excellent in guiding my learning of phonemic awareness with
questions that made me think about components I need to implement in a beginning classroom. I am very grateful for
taking this course, because early on it exposed some areas in the early language curriculum that could be expanded upon. It
was beneficial for me to acquire some terminology revolving around early language development. Not coming from an
elementary language or reading background in university, learning terms like “phoneme”, “onset” and “rime”, and even just
the sound representations on paper was new to me. However, it is beneficial to acquire this knowledge as I now have the
terminology to describe what I am having the children do in class to parents and the larger school community.
As a new teacher who was hired to set up a classroom due to the school’s growing population, there are a million and one
things to make in all subject areas, and things to prepare. Taking this course helped me see the that phonemic awareness
should be prioritized, as developing strong reading skills can benefit students in the other subjects as well.
Furthermore, I can now see the benefits of having technology in a lower elementary first to third grade classroom. With
careful implementation, it will allow for my students to work independently on acquiring phonemic awareness. In the
Montessori world, it is common for teachers to hand make a lot of materials used in the classroom; but this course was
great in introducing a lot of activities that are already available online and can be accessed with the use of a computer, thus
saving time and potentially adding more variety into the classroom.
Graduate Credit Work
The final part of the graduate work is to create a file of all the components of your lesson and upload it in the assignment section
in Session 6 on the main course page.
This file should include but not limited to:
1. Formal Lesson Write-up
a. Including student grade and level
b. CCSS addressed in lesson
c. Goals and Objectives
d. Skills addressed
e. Clear presentation of the direct instruction
f. Materials and Resources
g. Follow-up and Assessment
2. All printed materials used in lesson
3. Provide a short explanation of the purpose of the lesson based on prior needs and