The student will identify, say, segment, and blend various units of speech sounds.



(Teacher Notes)

  • The intent of this standard is that students will focus on various units of speech sounds in words.
  • This skill includes an understanding of the hierarchical concepts of sentence, word, syllable, and letter. Consequently, students need to demonstrate the ability to segment a sentence orally into individual words and to segment individual words into individual syllables and sounds.
  • Phonological awareness is the term used to describe a student’s understanding that spoken words consist of sounds. Students who are phonologically aware demonstrate an ability to hear and manipulate the sound structure of language at each of the word, syllable and phoneme (individual sound) levels.
  • Phonological awareness typically progresses in a developmental continuum, (i.e., rhyming → sentence segmenting → syllable blending/segmenting → syllable splitting [onset and rime blending/segmenting] → phoneme blending, segmenting, and manipulating).
  • Students who are phonemically aware are able to attend to the individual phonemes of spoken language by demonstrating the higher-order ability to blend, segment and manipulate them.
  • Students orally blend speech sound units (phonemes) together to make a word (e.g., /m/-/a/-/n/ → man).
  • Students segment spoken words into individual sounds (e.g., man → /m/- /a/- /n/.
  • Understanding rhyme allows students to generate new words from a known word (e.g., if the student knows the word “fun,” then he/she can orally produce the word “run.”) It is more difficult to produce a rhyme than to identify a rhyme when presented orally.
  • Syllables are units of speech that consist of a vowel preceded and/or followed by consonants. Each time a syllable is produced, the mouth opens and closes. Each syllable spoken consists of a single rhythmic beat (e.g., the word absent has two syllables: ab/sent).
  • Phonemes are the smallest units of sound in spoken language.
  • Through many learning experiences with songs, rhymes, and language play, students will develop the ability to hear, produce, and manipulate phonemes.
  • The ability to segment and blend phonemes facilitates spelling and decoding.]

Onsets are speech sounds (/b/, /c/, /f/, /h/) before a vowel. Rimes are comprised of the vowel and what follows (e.g., -at, -it, -op). If a one-syllable word begins with a vowel, it has only a rime. Many words are formed by combining onsets and rimes (bat, bit, but).

All students should

  • understand that words are made up of small units of sound and that these sounds can be blended to make a word.
  • understand that words are made up of syllables.
  • understand that a spoken sentence is made up of individual words.
To be successful with this standard, students are expected to

  • focus on speech sounds.
  • demonstrate the concept of word by segmenting spoken sentences into individual words.
  • segment a word into individual syllables by clapping hands or snapping fingers.
  • discriminate between large phonological units of running speech, sentences, words, and syllables.
  • identify a word that rhymes with a spoken word.
  • supply a word that rhymes with a spoken word.
  • produce rhyming words and recognize pairs of rhyming words presented orally.
  • generate rhyming words based on a given rhyming pattern.
  • supply an appropriate rhyming word to complete a familiar nursery rhyme or a predictable text with rhyming lines.
  • blend and segment consonants and rimes of spoken words (e.g., /b/- /oat/ = boat, black = /bl/- /ack/).
  • blend and segment multisyllabic words into syllables (e.g., the teacher asks students to say robot without the /ro-/ and students respond with /bot/).
  • recognize that a word can be segmented into individual speech sound units.
  • recognize how phonemes sound when spoken in isolation.
  • recognize similarities and differences in beginning and ending sounds of words.
  • determine the order of speech sounds in a given word by answering the following questions:
  • What is the beginning sound you hear?
  • What is the ending sound you hear?
  • produce a word that has the same beginning or ending sound as a spoken word (e.g., /sock//sun/ and /hot//rat/).
  • identify pictures of objects whose names share the same beginning or ending sound.
  • sort pictures or objects whose names share the same beginning or ending sound.
  • blend three spoken phonemes to make words (e.g., the teacher says /c/ /a/ /t/, and the student blends the phonemes to say the word cat).
  • segment one-syllable words into onset and rime (e.g., the teacher says the word hat and when asked, the student verbally says /h/ for the onset and /- at/ for the rime.) Students are not expected to know the terms onset and rime.
  • segment one-syllable words into speech sound units (e.g., the teacher says the word bat, and the student segments the sounds /b/- /a/- /t/).
  • substitute the beginning consonant to make a new word (e.g., the teacher asks the student to say cat, but in the place of /c/ she asks them to say /b/, and the student responds with bat).

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