Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear individual sounds or “phonemes” within words. This important skill is necessary for children who are learning to read. Children need to have an understanding that words are made up of sounds. They can identify, manipulate and discriminate the sounds in words (i.e. cat has the sounds /c/ /a/ /t/, change the /c/ to /m/ and you then have the word mat). It does not include any written words or letters.