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Knowledge and Skills Statement

Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--beginning reading and writing. The student develops word structure knowledge through phonological awareness, print concepts, phonics, and morphology to communicate, decode, and spell.

Ask students to identify the syllables in words. Students can orally demonstrate a break between syllables or identify the syllables through an action such as clapping, using fingers, or moving counters.


  • What are the syllables in the word rainbow?  /rain/-/bow/
  • What are the syllables in the word backpack?  /back/-/pack/
  • What are the syllables in the word boat?  /boat/
  • What are the syllables in the word hippo?  /hip/-/po/
  • What are the syllables in the word computer?  /com/-/pu/-/ter/
Identifying syllables involves students identifying the number of syllables in a word spoken aloud. For example, if the student hears backpack, the student should be able to say there are two syllables in the word.
Phonological awareness is the ability to detect and manipulate the sound structures of spoken language, including recognizing differently sized sound parts (e.g., phrases, words, syllables, phonemes) and manipulating those parts (i.e., blend, segment, delete, add, and change).
a unit of oral language in which a vowel sound is heard; it may or may not contain a consonant sound


Baker, S. K., Beattie, T., Nelson, N. J., & Turtura, J. (2018). How We Learn to Read: The Critical Role of Phonological Awareness. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Special Education Programs, National Center on Improving Literacy. Retrieved from

Summary: Phonological awareness involves being able to recognize and manipulate the sounds within words. This skill is a foundation for understanding the alphabetic principle and reading success. There are several ways to effectively teach phonological awareness to prepare early readers, including: 1) teaching students to recognize and manipulate the sounds of speech, 2) teaching students letter-sound relations, and 3) teaching students to manipulate letter-sounds in print using word-building activities.