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The Phonological Awareness Kit Primary
Ages: 5-8   Grades: K-3

Use a success-oriented program to build requisite reading skills in rhyming, segmenting, and sound placement and blending. 


  • Improve phonological awareness
  • Solve the phoneme/grapheme code of English
  • Improve word attack and spelling skills
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This well-established program links phonological awareness instruction with phonetically-controlled reading and spelling activities to build success and carryover.  The activities and manipulatives can be used with individuals, small groups, or an entire classroom.  The kit contains:

  • 115-page activities manual with goal-directed exercises at word, syllable, phoneme, and grapheme levels (50 reproducible phoneme segmenting activity pages)
  • 60 plastic cubes
  • 76 picture cards
  • 5 number cards
  • family letter
  • home activities
  • 50 plastic chips

The activities are arranged in this developmental hierarchy:

  • Rhyming—recognition, discrimination, and production of rhyming words
  • Word Level—sentence segmentation and compound word segmentation, blending, isolation, and deletion 
  • Syllable Level—segmentation, blending, isolation, and deletion
  • Phoneme Level—isolation, segmentation, blending, deletion, and substitution
  • Grapheme Level—blending and substituting, substituting and decoding, and decoding and encoding

Copyright © 1995

115-page manual, 60 plastic cubes, 81 4½" x 5½" picture and number cards, 50 plastic chips, sturdy box

Warning: CHOKING HAZARD - Small parts, not for children under 3 yrs.

I am using the Phonological Awareness Kit Primary with a sweet, 8-year-old girl who, until recently, was deemed a non-reader.  Her progress has been unbelievable.  We have worked through almost the entire program and she is now sounding out short vowel words and sound segmenting many other words.  Her "PaPa" cried the first time he heard her read a decodable text reader.  Her mom said she read it ten times that night!  This product has truly helped change this girl's life.

Melinda Groenke, SLP
O'Fallon, MO


Carolyn Robertson, Wanda Salter


Carolyn Robertson, M.Ed., completed undergraduate work at Illinois State University in special education.  She received her master's degree from North Georgia College and has done post graduate work at Saint Michael's College and the University of Vermont.  She has twenty years of experience in teaching special education for grades kindergarten through graduate school.  At present, she is a learning specialist/consulting teacher and assessment specialist for the Grand Isle Supervisory Union in northern Vermont.  The Phonological Awareness Kit Primary is Carolyn's first publication with LinguiSystems.

Wanda Salter, M.S., CCC-SLP, completed undergraduate studies in anthropology and linguistics at McGill University and received master's degrees in teaching English as a second language at Saint Michael's College, and communication science and disorders at the University of Vermont.  She has taught English to adolescent and adult students and served as a speech-language pathologist at Alburg Elementary School in northern Vermont.  Wanda is currently employed by a private manufacturer of augmentative communication aids.  She provides consultative services to school and hospital teams in northern New England.  The Phonological Awareness Kit Primary is Wanda's first publication with LinguiSystems.


Learning to read and write the English language is a complicated process.  Although professionals don't agree on the best method of instruction, one piece of the puzzle continues to emerge from the research as essential—phonological awareness.  Phonological awareness is the knowledge of sounds, or phonemes, in our language and how those sounds blend together to form words, phrases, and sentences.


How We Learn to Read
Phonological processing refers to the use of phonological information to process oral and written language.  Since English uses a sound-bases representational system, the beginning reader must learn to decode printed letters (graphemes) and store their associated sounds (phonemes) in short-term memory.  Then, the reader must blend these temporarily stored sounds to form words.  Many children learn to do this with minimal specific instruction.  Through repeated exposure to print, they figure out the system on their own.

Results of numerous studies indicate that approximately 25 percent of children do not make this connection between sounds (phonemes) and the letters which represent those sounds (graphemes) on their own.  This lack of phonological sensitivity makes learning to read and spell difficult.  It's probable that the percentage of children who lack phonological awareness may be even greater in areas where many children come from language-poor environments.

Signs of weakness in phonological processing may include difficulty:

  • recognizing and producing rhyming words or patterns of alliteration
  • orally breaking words into syllables or sounds
  • identifying whether a specific sound occurs in the beginning, end, or middle of a word
  • identifying the number of sounds in a word
  • blending sounds to make a word with rapid naming tasks
  • repeating multisyllabic words

It's not surprising that, given the above limitations in oral language skills, these children make slow progress in reading and spelling.  Unfortunately, most instructional programs don't address these requisite skills because most students already have them.

On a more positive note, numerous studies have shown that students who receive direct instruction in the area of phonological awareness are better able to learn the necessary skills for early reading and spelling.  There's also research showing that children follow a fairly consistent sequence in developing phonological awareness skills.


What Is The Phonological Awareness Kit Primary?
The Phonological Awareness Kit Primary is designed as a direct instruction supplement to any regular classroom reading program.  The goal of this program is to enable students to solve the phoneme/grapheme code of the English language, resulting in improvement of word attack and spelling skills.  Although this program targets children in kindergarten through grade three, it's also appropriate for remediation of older children with auditory processing deficits.

There are two distinctive strands to this program:

  • phonological awareness instruction
  • phonetically-controlled reading and spelling activities

The emphasis of the program is the development of phonological awareness; however, for many children the transition to reading and spelling with the use of phonetically-controlled materials is essential for acquiring word attack and spelling skills.


How Do I Use The Phonological Awareness Kit Primary?
The manipulatives and activities in The Phonological Awareness Kit Primary can be used with small groups, one-on-one, or with an entire classroom.  To help prepare kindergarten students for first grade language arts, they should receive phonological awareness instruction at least two times per week.  Older students benefit most from daily instruction.

For greater success and carryover, phonological awareness activities should be accompanied by phonetically structured reading materials.  A typical lesson may include phonological awareness activities, as well as structured oral reading instruction.  For example, each student may participate in a phoneme segmentation activity and then read orally from a book containing only short "a" words.

The activities in this program are designed to be fun; however, some students may experience frustration if the pace is too fast.  All students need to experience success that can be ensured with copious practice and review.  The family letter and suggested activities will help reinforce skills acquired through classroom instruction.  We hope your students achieve the confidence and competence in reading and spelling that we have experienced with this program.

Carolyn and Wanda