When students are struggling to hear the individual sounds in words they’re trying to spell, they often need to build a skill called phonemic awareness. And sound mapping is a simple but powerful way to boost it!
Add in a fun gumball theme and some squishy playdough balls and it’s a literacy match made in heaven. Snag your free download below and then hop over and snag 26 more sound mapping sets in our shop or on Teachers Pay Teachers!
What Is Phonemic Awareness?
Phonemic awareness is one of those pre-reading skills we used to think wasn’t all that important for new readers but now, thanks to the science of reading, we know it’s absolutely critical.
It means HEARING the sounds in words. For instance, the word dog has three sounds: /d/ /o/ /g/
And so does the word rain: /r/ /ai/ /n/.
Notice that the word rain has THREE sounds but FOUR letters. When you’re practicing phonemic awareness, you’re only focusing on the sounds in words – NOT the spelling.
Helping students HEAR the sounds now will make it possible for them to SPELL the sounds later.
And That Leads Us to Sound Mapping…
This print-and-play activity gives kids practice lazering in on those individual sounds in words.
To play, they’ll grab a card, say the word, and then:
- TAP the sounds.
- SQUISH the sounds with playdough balls.
- GRAPH (write) the sounds.
- WRITE the sounds.
- READ the word.
Stretching apart the sounds before adding in spelling sets students up for major success.
Here’s the activity in action:
Sound mapping is a game changer!
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