Phoneme manipulation: Deletion, Addition, Substitution

When it comes to kids becoming good readers and writers, developing phonemic awareness skills is a game-changer. Phonemic awareness can make an incredible impact on children’s success. Phoneme manipulation is the next skill we will examine in this article.

These are the strategies that will push them to reach their full potential regarding phonemic awareness skills. Phoneme deletion, addition, and substitution are all part of phoneme manipulation. That is, “playing” with the sounds of a word to create a new one.

Why is teaching phoneme manipulation necessary for kids?

Once your kids develop these critical skills, they will easily decode words and, with time and practice, instantly add, delete, or substitute particular phonemes to create entirely new words. Luckily, the internet is chock-full of fun and creative worksheets and activities to stimulate children. You can check out some of these by Reading by Phonics.

Your kids must identify specific phonemes to become completely “fluent” in phoneme addition and deletion. Then, they need to understand how those phonemes combine into new words. Soon, they will learn how these phoneme manipulation activities can change a word. Additionally, it’s amusing for kids to grasp how they can change words by simply adding or deleting some phonemes.

That said, you should know teaching kids to create new words this way sometimes requires patience since some of them might have some difficulties grasping the process at first. In addition, to successfully do phoneme manipulation, kids first need to learn phoneme segmentation and blending.

How can you start teaching kids phoneme manipulation?

The best way to start is by adding and deleting one phoneme of a word. Then, move on to manipulating several phonemes. With phoneme addition and deletion, your kids will soon learn how different sounds create words and that taking away or adding new sounds can completely change a word and its meaning.

For example, if you take the word “top” and add an /s/ to it, you will get “stop.” And vice versa; take the word “tape.” Once you delete the phoneme /t/, you now have “ape.”

Teaching phoneme addition and deletion

Every learning concept is best taught by reinforcing theory with creative games and activities. For example, make a list of words and ask kids to add or delete specific phonemes. Speak those words aloud, then let kids figure out which words they get by adding or deleting particular phonemes. It’s wise to use picture cards since it makes learning way more straightforward and fun for children. For example, you can prepare some pictures of objects and additional phonemes to be added or deleted.

Make sure to repeat these practicing activities for as long as you need. You will know your kids are ready once they can easily add or delete phonemes to make new words.

Phonemic deletion is typically a tiny bit more difficult for some children to grasp, so making it fun is a sure way to help them. To successfully teach kids this concept, prepare some worksheets that will contain words and a phoneme that they will need to delete to form new words.

For example, ask kids to delete the phoneme /t/ from words “then” and “this.” Once they do that, they will understand they get new words “hen” and “his.”

You can find some great activities and exercises to practice with your kids here.

Share This