Teaching Resource

Onset and Rime Match-Up Activity

PDF | PDF|Grade: F

A hands-on activity to enable students to practise building words by matching the onset and the rime.

What is onset and rime, and why is it important?

Separate phonemes in a syllable can normally be broken into two parts. An onset is the initial consonant sound. The rime is the vowel and any subsequent consonants.

For example, if we were to separate the word ‘shop’ into onset and rime, we would get two parts:

‘sh’ = onset (the initial consonant sound)

‘op’ = rime (the subsequent vowel and consonant sounds)

Developing an understanding of onset and rime in words can help students to notice words that share the same phonological pattern. This, in turn, can assist when spelling words that belong to the same word family. For example, students who have learnt the word ‘shop’ can apply this same spelling pattern to words that share the same rime, such as ‘stop’, ‘top’ and ‘hop’.

In this activity, students will construct single-syllable words by looking at pictures and their initial sounds and matching the missing rime to complete the word.  

How to use this resource

  • Choose a picture card.
  • Say the word on the card, then break it into its onset and rime.
  • Find the matching rime card and place it inside the box.
  • Blend the onset and rime together to read the word.
  • Continue matching onset and rime until there are no more cards left.

Need to extend your more capable students?

Why not encourage fast finishers to place the completed words in alphabetical order, or to brainstorm more words that belong to each word family? Alternatively, try using some of our other great early literacy resources!


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

  Australian Curriculum alignment

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