Phonemic awareness is an essential component of literacy. It is needed for children to begin reading successfully. Without phonemic awareness, some children may find it difficult to decode words; thus, leading to a lack of meaningful comprehension. Research indicates that the literacy knowledge children have when entering school is an important predictor of their reading and academic success. Without a strong base on which to build, children, particularly disadvantaged children, will be behind before they reach school-age. Early literacy experiences help children discover the purposes of, and relationships between, speech and print. Equally important, exposure to early literacy helps children form a positive attitude toward reading. Early learning is not only critical to academic success, but it is an investment that we cannot afford to let pass us by.
Place all puzzle pieces on a flat surface. Have children separate all picture cards. Place picture card in the first position. Say the picture name. Encourage the child to say the picture name and segment each phoneme orally as he or she listens for the initial, medial, and final sound. The end of each puzzle piece is color coded for directionality of the picture spelling. (green, yellow, red) Have the child attempt to place each phoneme piece in its correct place. Be sure to have the child say the picture word several times and identify the phoneme spoken. The edge of each puzzle piece is color coded to show directionality of letters.