Here are some helpful definitions to assist you in your child’s phonological/phonemic awareness education.



Continuant Consonant

Onset and Rime

The onset is the initial sound (phoneme) of a word, before the first vowel, and the rime is the remainder of the word. For example, the word split can be broken down into its onset spl and its rime it. Dog has the onset d and the rime og. Not every word has an onset: for example, the word it has only a rime.


A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a word that makes a difference in the word’s meaning. For example, the word cat has three phonemes, /k/, /a/ and /t/. If you change the final phoneme from /t/ to /b/, you change the word from cat to cab, which also changes the meaning. Sometimes a phoneme corresponds directly to one letter of the alphabet, but some phonemes are represented in writing by multiple letters, for example, /sh/ and /th/.

Phoneme Blend


Phonological/Phonemic Awareness

Subject and Predicate



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