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Phonemic Awareness is one of the five building blocks of reading identified by the National Reading Panel (NRP). (Click here to see the report.) Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and identify individual sounds in spoken syllables and words (e.g., "What sound is at the beginning of the words, big, bear, and bowl?"). Phonemic awareness is one part of phonological awareness.
Phonological awareness is a broader term that includes activities like segmenting words into syllables (e.g., base/ball or cal/cu/la/tor) or producing words that rhyme (e.g., cat, hat, mat).
Here is a list of Super Duper® materials to teach phonemic/phonological awareness skills. Click here to see research articles that support targeting these skills in order to improve a child's ability to read.