Hierarchy of Phonological Awareness Levels

 

Phonological awareness, like other stages in a child’s development, occurs in a sequence or along a continuum; Emerald Dechant has identified the following phonological awareness levels. Supporting activities are included on subsequent pages.

 

Dechant Levels

Phonological Awareness Levels

Activity

1.1

Awareness of Gross Differences:  Recognizing that words represent a sound unit-word awareness.

Students are provided with some sort of counter, such as peanuts and a small container. After reading a story to students, the teacher selects a sentence and says it aloud.  The sentence is then slowly repeated and the students are asked to drop a peanut into their bag every time they hear a word.

1.2

Awareness of Rhyme:  Hearing and recognizing rhymes.

“Listen to this poem and tell me the rhyming words you hear.”

1.3

Segmentation of Words into Syllables: Detecting that words are made up of different part-syllables. 

After reading through a story, the teacher selects some words that have single and multiple syllables and invites students to clap out the parts as individual words are read aloud.

2.1

Awareness of Initial Consonant Segments:  Generating a word that has a given sound at the beginning, middle, or end.

“Let’s name some words that begin with /b/.”

2.2

Alliteration: Identifying words that have a given sound.

“Listen to this sentence and tell me how all the words begin.”

2.3

Awareness/Segmentation of Onset and Rime:  Hearing and manipulating the onset and rime of words.

Using one-syllable words from a story, show students how to separate the initial consonant sound from the rest of the word.

3.1

Phonemic Segmentation:  isolating sounds at the beginning of a word or in an entire word.  Sometimes the task requires hearing and counting; other time it requires producing the actual sound.

Hearing and Counting:  “Tell me how many sounds you hear in the word cat.”   (3)

Producing Sounds:  “Tell me the sounds you hear in the word cat.”  /c/ /a/ /t/

3.2

Blending of Phonemes and Syllables:  Putting sounds together to form a word.

“I’m thinking of a word that names an animal.  It is a /d/ /og/.  What’s the word?” (dog)

3.3

Phonemic Manipulation: substituting, adding, or deleting sounds to create new words.

Substituting:  “What word do we have if we change the /d/ in dog to /l/?”

Adding:  “Add /k/ to row.  What’s the name of our bird?” (crow)

Deleting: “Take away the first sound in cat.  What’s your new word?” (at)