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The Phonological Awareness Kit Intermediate
Ages: 8-13   Grades: 3-8

A reading breakthrough!  Help your older students learn to read by combining phonological awareness instruction with phonetically-controlled reading and spelling activities. 



  • Improve phonological awareness
  • Decode words accurately and fluently
  • Strengthen word attack and spelling skills
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Studies have shown a strong association between a child's ability to read and their ability to segment words into phonemes.  The Phonological Awareness Kit Intermediate helps students in grade 3 through 9 who struggle to learn to read.  Designed to supplement classroom reading instruction, the kit helps students improve sound awareness at the phoneme, syllable, and grapheme levels.  Target skills in:

  • Sound Blending and Segmenting
  • Sound Isolation and Deletion
  • Consonant and Vowel Digraphs
  • Diphthongs
  • R-controlled Vowels
  • Silent "e" Rule

The activities and manipulatives can be used with individuals, small groups, or an entire classroom.  The kit contains:

  • 116-page activities manual with 50 reproducible activity pages
  • 30 plastic cubes
  • 50 picture and number cards
  • 10 illustrated story cards
  • 128 letter tiles
  • 50 plastic chips
  • reproducible Bingo game, generic game board, and checkerboard

The lessons/activities include:

  • goals
  • materials list (classroom items and items in the kit)
  • directions
  • word lists
  • expansion activities

Copyright © 1997

116-page manual, 128 cardboard letter tiles, 50 2½" x 3½" picture and number cards, 50 plastic chips, 30 plastic cubes, 10 8½" x 11" illustrated story cards, sturdy box
  • Evidence indicates that beyond elementary school, teaching phonological awareness and decoding tasks can be improved by teaching phonological awareness (Schuele & Boudreau, 2008).
  • Blending and segmenting skills must be present in order to decode unfamiliar written words.  Thus, in order to improve decoding, a student must have a foundation of these skills (Schuele & Boudreau, 2008).
  • Regardless of their ages, children who struggle to learn word decoding and encoding require intervention focused on the explicit awareness of phonemes in words, the association of phonemes with alphabetic symbols, and the ability to segment and blend phonemes in words and manipulate them in other ways (ASHA, 2001).
  • Training in phonological awareness is critical to reading success, and manipulating phonemes in words is highly effective across all literacy domains and outcomes (NRP, 2000).
  • Explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and phonetic decoding skills produces stronger reading growth in children with phonological weaknesses than do approaches that do not teach these skills explicitly (Torgesen, 2000).

The Phonological Awareness Kit Intermediate incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (2001). Roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists with respect to reading and writing in children and adolescents [Guidelines]. Retrieved April 8, 2009, from

National Reading Panel (NRP). (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction-Reports of the subgroups. Retrieved April 8, 2009, from

Schuele, C.M., & Boudreau, D. (2008). Phonological awareness intervention: Beyond the basics. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 39, 3-20.

Torgesen, J.K. (2000). Individual differences in response to early interventions in reading: The lingering problem of treatment resisters. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 15, 55-64.


Carolyn Robertson, Wanda Salter


Carolyn Robertson, M.Ed., is a learning specialist/consulting teacher and assessment specialist for the Grand Isle Supervisory Union in northern Vermont.  She completed undergraduate work in special education at Illinois State University and received her master's degree from North Georgia College.  She has done post graduate work at Saint Michael's College and the University of Vermont.  Carolyn has over 20 years of experience in teaching special education for grades kindergarten through graduate school.

The Phonological Awareness Kit Intermediate is Carolyn's third publication with LinguiSystems.  She is also co-author of The Phonological Awareness Kit Primary and The Phonological Awareness Test.

Wanda Salter, M.A., M.S., CCC-SLP, serves as speech-language pathologist in the Rutland Windsor Supervisory Union in southern Vermont.  She also maintains a private practice, performing assessments and providing consultation in school and hospital settings in Vermont and New Hampshire.  Wanda completed undergraduate studies in anthropology and linguistics at McGill University and received master's degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language from Saint Michael's College, and Communication Science disorders from the University of Vermont.  She has served as public school speech-language pathologist in grades K-12 and provided augmentative communication consultation throughout northern New England.

The Phonological Awareness Kit Intermediate is Wanda's third publication with LinguiSystems.  She is also co-author of The Phonological Awareness Kit Primary and The Phonological Awareness Test.


Learning to read and write the English language is a complicated process which can break down at various levels.  Although professionals don't agree on one best method of instruction for all students, one component continues to emerge from the research as essential—phonological awareness or as it's sometimes called, phonemic awareness.

Phonological awareness is the knowledge of meaningful sounds, or phonemes, in our language and how those sounds blend together to form syllables, words, phrases, and sentences.  We represent those sounds with letters or graphemes.  For efficient decoding and spelling, students need to understand this system.

Since English uses a sound-based representational system, the beginning reader needs to learn to decode printed letters (graphemes), store their associated sounds in short-term memory, and then blend these stored sounds to form words.  Research has suggested that 20% to 25% of students do not develop adequate phonological awareness to make this phoneme/grapheme connection on their own.

Older students who continue to have difficulty with decoding and spelling often cannot make the connection without explicit instruction in phonological awareness.  As a remedial strategy, instruction in phonics alone is not sufficient for these students.  They lack the phonological awareness necessary to make the connection between spoken language and print.

Phonological processing is using phonological information to process oral and written language.  Signs of weakness in phonological processing may include difficulty with:

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

Studies have shown that the ability to read and comprehend depends upon rapid and automatic recognition and decoding of single words.  The ability to decode single words accurately and fluently is dependent upon the ability to segment words and syllables into phonemes.

The Phonological Awareness Kit Intermediate is designed for the older student who has experienced difficulty learning to read through conventional methods that do not incorporate explicit phonological awareness instruction.


Using the Kit
The manipulatives and activities in The Phonological Awareness Kit Intermediate can be used with small groups or individual students.  Instruction should be frequent and consistent.  Daily instruction is recommended for the disabled reader.  For increased success and generalization, pair phonological awareness activities with phonetically-structured reading materials and spelling activities.

Many older students have acquired a basic sight word vocabulary but still have not acquired phonological awareness skills.  For these students, nonsense words are provided for practice in many of the activities.  Using nonsense words is an excellent technique to assess a student's knowledge of phoneme/grapheme correspondence.


Getting Started
The Phonological Awareness Kit Intermediate is designed to be used with any classroom reading curriculum.  It is not intended to replace comprehensive reading and spelling programs.  In some instances, classroom reading instruction for students at the middle level and above may not be appropriate for the student with reading difficulties.  If that is the case, locate reading materials in which the student can read at his functional level.  The goal of the program is to enable students to solve the phoneme/grapheme code of the English language, resulting in improved word attack and spelling skills.  Although this program targets students in grades three through eight who need remediation, you can also use it with younger students.

The kit is organized into three levels: syllable, phoneme, and grapheme.  Although the emphasis of the program is on phonological awareness (syllable and phoneme levels), students need to generalize their newly acquired skills to actual reading and spelling.  It is essential that students transition from oral skills to the grapheme level using phonetically-structured activities so that target sounds are presented consistently and repeatedly for reinforcement.