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The Sounds Abound Program Teaching Phonological Awareness in the Classroom
Ages: 3-7   Grades: PreK-2

Use songs, games, and hands-on activities for phonological awareness practice.  This complete program includes lesson plans, 195 full-size picture cards, and an instructional DVD. 


  • Incorporate phonological awareness activities into the classroom
  • Improve rhyming, segmenting, and sound manipulation
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This program helps meet the needs of children with varied levels of phonological awareness.  Sequential classroom activities include adaptations for different learning styles.  The easy-to-read manual includes tools to help you choose appropriate activities.  The picture cards are used in the activities to illustrate the target words, syllables, and phonemes. 

The detailed lesson plans/activities include:

  • purpose and grade level
  • seating arrangement
  • materials list (picture cards, classroom, and household items)
  • text, game, book, song, or rhyme (e.g., Duck, Duck, Goose; The Hungry Thing ; If You're Happy and You Know It)
  • preparatory activities
  • instructions, examples, and teaching suggestions
  • follow-up activity
  • variations for advanced students and students needing further instruction

Target these skills:

  • rhyme recognition, completion, and production
  • syllable segmentation and deletion
  • phoneme isolation and segmentation
  • phoneme deletion, substitution, addition, and blending
  • phoneme-grapheme correspondence

Copyright © 1998


112-page manual, 195 8½ x 11" full-color cards, sticker dots, 45-minute DVD, sturdy box
  • Phonological awareness and vocabulary development begin early with the use of shared book experiences, rhyming games and chants, and extended conversations with adults (NIEER, 2006).
  • Strong evidence exists for the importance of the following skills as predictors of later reading and writing skills: alphabet knowledge; phonological awareness; rapid naming tasks; writing or writing name; and phonological short-term memory (NIFL, 2009).
  • Children must be able to segment words into syllables and phonemes before they can decode single words accurately and fluently (Lyon, 1995).
  • Phoneme segmentation ability in kindergarten and first grade is the best predictor of future reading performance (Lyon, 1995).
  • When childcare and education providers received training in BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LITERACY, a professional development program that incorporates The Sounds Abound Program, three- to five-year-old children in the lowest 20th percentile (those most vulnerable for reading failure) went from performing below to above the at-risk level (Podhajski & Nathan, 2005).
  • 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).

The Sounds Abound Program 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 15, 2009, from

Lyon, G.R. (1995). Research initiatives in learning disabilities: Contributions from scientists supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Journal of Child Neurology, 10(Suppl.1), 120-126.

National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). (2006). Early literacy: Policy and practice in the preschool years. Retrieved April 16, 2009, from

National Institute for Literacy (NIFL). (2009). Developing early literacy-Report of the national early literacy panel. Retrieved April 16, 2009, from

Podhajski, B., & Nathan, J. (2005). Promoting early literacy through professional development for childcare providers. Early Education and Development Journal, 16(1), 23-41.


Orna Lenchner, Ph.D., and Blanche Podhajski, Ph.D.
Developed at the Stern Center for Language and Learning


Orna Ariel Lenchner, Ph.D., a diagnostician and clinical teacher at the Stern Center for Language and Learning when this project was developed, is currently a consultant for the Consortium on Reading Excellence in Emeryville, California.

Blanche Podhajski, Ph.D., is the founder and president of the Stern Center for Language and Learning in Williston, Vermont, and an associate clinical professor of neurology in the University of Vermont College of Medicine.  Dr. Podhajski received her doctorate in communication disorders, specializing in learning disabilities, from Northwestern University.


The Sounds Abound Program is a practical approach to applying the guiding principles of research to the regular classroom.  The Sounds Abound Program demonstrates activities for entire classrooms, gives you the tools to decide which activities to choose, and helps meet the needs of children with varied levels of phonological awareness.  The Sounds Abound Program does the following:

  • introduces teachers to the concepts of phonological and phonemic awareness
  • helps teachers understand why these skills are important
  • helps teachers understand what levels of phonological awareness skills are necessary for literacy in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade
  • introduces key research findings to support the provision of direct training in phonological awareness
  • provides a sequential series of classroom activities to develop phonological awareness
  • uses DVD technology to demonstrate how easily these activities can be incorporated within a regular classroom
  • suggests follow-up activities
  • provides teachers with tools to challenge advanced students and support children experiencing difficulties within the classroom
  • offers individual remediation activities to help children who may be in need of more intense and specific instruction