teaching resource

How Many Phonemes? Sorting Activity

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 8 pages | Years: F - 1

Practise identifying the discrete sounds in words with this hands-on sorting activity.

Phonological Awareness = The Key to Phoneme Segmentation

Phonological awareness is the ability to identify the discrete sounds in speech (phonemes). With this skill comes the ability to reproduce and manipulate these sounds.

Our sorting activity uses a picture-based approach to help students identify the distinct phonemes (sounds) in basic words. 

How to Play This Phonological Awareness Game

  1. Place the sort heading cards on the floor.
  2. Choose a word card. Segment the word into its phonemes and count how many there are.
  3. Place the word under the correct heading according to the number of phonemes (2, 3 or 4).

Tips for Differentiation + Scaffolding 

A team of dedicated, experienced educators created this resource to support your phonics instruction.

Use this phonics activity to enhance learning through small groups, whole-class learning or independent practice.

If you have a mixture of above and below-level learners, check out these suggestions for keeping students on track with the concepts: 

🆘 Support Struggling Students

  • Provide students with concrete manipulatives, such as counters or buttons, to act as physical representations of the phonemes in each word.

➕ Challenge Fast Finishers

  • Allow fast finishers to create some more picture cards and sort them under the correct headings.

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the colour and black and white PDF or Google Slides files for this resource.

Print on thick card for added durability and longevity. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access. 


This resource was created by Lindsey Phillips, a Teach Starter collaborator. 

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