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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.

Play a listening game with students during small-group or one-on-one instruction. Say the syllables and then ask students to blend them to make a word.


You are going to listen to sounds and blend the sounds together to make a word. Try this:

  • /hip/-/po/—What word is this? (hippo)
  • /dan/-/cer/—What word is this? (dancer)
  • /sun/-/flow/-/er/—What word is this? (sunflower)
  • /wa/-/ter/—What word is this? (water)
  • /hol/-/i/-/day/—What word is this? (holiday)
Blending syllables involves a student hearing separate syllables and combining them to make a word. For example, if the student hears /wa/-/ter/, the student should be able to combine the syllables and produce the word water.
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).


Yopp, H., & Yopp, R. (2000). Supporting Phonemic Awareness Development in the Classroom. The Reading Teacher, 54(2), 130–143. Retrieved from

Summary:  Yopp and Yopp describe phonemic awareness and provide ideas for activities that focus on rhyme, syllable manipulation, onset-rime manipulation, and phoneme manipulation.