Phonological awareness is the ability to hear individual sounds within words and to mentally manipulate sounds. It is nearly impossible for a child to sound out a word unless their brain is able to perform these basic tasks. Unlike the alphabetic principle, phonological awareness has nothing to do with printed letters. It is completely auditory.
Most children will develop these skills naturally just from being exposed to language, but we can easily help children practice these skills long before they are actually ready to read. If we do this, learning to read will not be quite so much cognitive work and the child will experience much less frustration.
Watch this video for an explanation and demonstration of how to teach phonological awareness!
HERE is a list of easy, medium, and difficult words to help you start playing “mystery word”
Up next is understanding how to scaffold COMPREHENSION from the start.