Early Pre-Kindergarten Curriculum

35 weeks of systematic language play activities for your 3 & 4-year-old preschool classrooms.

Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Early Pre-Kindergarten lessons can be taught alongside your current literacy curriculum and are easily integrated into half-day or full-day preschool programs. When lessons are taught consistently each day with explicit teacher modeling and scaffolded support, students learn to play with language and hear the sounds in spoken words.


Overview: 35-weeks of lessons with 3 days per week of instruction, 5-7 components in each lesson

Grade level: 3 & 4 year old preschool classrooms

Format: Whole group instruction

Lesson length: 6-8 minutes

The Early Pre-K Phonological Awareness curriculum is meant for learners in 3- and 4-year-old classrooms, and the Early Learning and Development standards across all states were used to plan the lessons for instruction. While the standards and expectations differ from state to state, the Early Pre-K curriculum will teach 5 phonological awareness skills. The skills of rhyme, initial phoneme isolation, and blending are introduced at the beginning of instruction. Segmenting words and Final Phoneme Isolation are introduced in later weeks of instruction.

5 Phonological Awareness Skills

  1. Rhyme repetition, recognition, and production
  2. Initial Phoneme Isolation, including listening for a focus sound, alliteration and generating words that begin in a specific sound
  3. Blending words, syllables, body-coda, and onset-rime (Note: we do not blend at the phoneme level like we do in the current PreK curriculum)
  4. Segmenting into words, syllables, and onset-rime (begins in week 7; we do not segment into phonemes like we do in the current PreK curriculum)
  5. Final Phoneme Isolation (introduced in Weeks 24-35)

2 Early Literacy Skills

  1. Alphabet Knowledge
  2. Language Awareness: Nursery Rhymes and sentences


The lessons include explicit language to teach the skills and provide directions for each activity. Teacher modeling and support is included within the lessons, along with hand motions.

The beginning weeks of instruction provide teachers with lessons for “Setting the Stage” to help students learn about listening for sounds and developing an understanding of the language play activities .

The Heggerty Pre-K curriculum (purple book) would be used for instruction during the last year of preschool or in Transitional Kindergarten classrooms. The Pre-K curriculum includes more complex phoneme manipulation activities with adding, deleting, and substituting sounds in spoken words.

The 7 components included in each Heggerty Early Pre-Kindergarten lesson:

  • 5 phonological awareness skills
  • 1 alphabet knowledge activity
  • 1 language awareness activity using nursery rhymes & sentence repetition

All lessons include:

  • Rhyming and initial phoneme isolation
  • Blending - words, syllables, body-coda, and onset-rime
  • Alphabet Knowledge with an alphabet song
  • Language Awareness activity

Two skills are introduced throughout the curriculum:

  • Beginning in Week 7: Segmenting into words, syllables, and onset-rime
  • Beginning in Week 24:  Isolating the final sound in spoken words

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