Dragons Love Tacos Phonemic Awareness

Hello! It’s our favorite day of the week – Freebie Friday! Our Freebie ties into our blog post all about Phonemic Awareness and our beloved Dragon who loves those tacos!  If you haven’t seen the blog on Phonemic Awareness yet, check it out here.


Phonemic Awareness refers to the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the sounds (or phonemes) in words. A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound. For example, the spoken word dog can be broken down into three separate and distinct phonemes or sounds; /d/ /o/ /g/.

Phonemic Awareness includes work with rhyming, syllabication, and segmenting words by sound. All of these skills are about the sounds we hear in letters and words. When we begin to integrate letters into the mix, we are shifting into Phonics work.

This Freebie focuses on strengthening these important phonemic awareness skills through a fun syllable game and sound isolation activities.


The first game, How Many Syllables, has the student identify and circle the number of syllables they hear in the word. For example, taco has two syllables and sombrero has three.

Initial Sound Match is the next game and you can adapt this activity in many ways. The goal here is to correctly hear and isolate the first sound a student hears when you read them the word – or as they recognize the word based on the picture. You can lay all the cards out face up and just have the students match the first sound they hear to the letter that makes the sound or you can play a game of memory with initial sounds.

Last Sound is the final game in this Freebie. Say the name of each picture. Ask the student to now identify the final or last sound in the word. Have the student circle the sound they hear at the end of the word.


Phonemic Awareness is a skill that can be very challenging for some students. You may need to exaggerate or emphasize the beginning and final sounds for these games in order to help your student hear and isolate the sound.

When it comes to syllabication, it helps to clap the syllables as you break words apart. Model how to do this for your student and encourage them to do it with you as they syllabicate each word.


Oh nuts! This freebie is expired - but you can still get access to the entire Story Book unit by clicking here!

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Kelly HooverComment