teaching resource

Which Sound? Sorting Activity - The Letter C

  • Updated

    Updated:  12 Oct 2022

Practise identifying the different sounds made by the letter C with this hands-on sorting activity.

  • Editable

    Editable:  Google Slides

  • Non-Editable

    Non-Editable:  PDF

  • Pages

    Pages:  1 Page

  • Curriculum
  • Years

    Years:  1 - 2

teaching resource

Which Sound? Sorting Activity - The Letter C

  • Updated

    Updated:  12 Oct 2022

Practise identifying the different sounds made by the letter C with this hands-on sorting activity.

  • Editable

    Editable:  Google Slides

  • Non-Editable

    Non-Editable:  PDF

  • Pages

    Pages:  1 Page

  • Curriculum
  • Years

    Years:  1 - 2

Practise identifying the different sounds made by the letter C with this hands-on sorting activity.

Soft or Hard C… Which Should It Be?

Do you know that it is possible in the English language for one letter to make different sounds (phonemes)? One such example of this is the letter C. The letter C can make a /k/ sound, as in the word ‘cat’. It can also make a /s/ sound, as in the word ‘celery’. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘hard C’ and the ‘soft C’.

Thankfully, there are simple guidelines that can help young readers and writers to identify when the letter C makes each sound. The rule “C says /s/ before e, i and y” is one such guideline. While it may not apply in every possible situation, this rule can be helpful in guiding students through the process of decoding and encoding unfamiliar words.

This sorting activity has been designed to help your students identify when the letter C is making a /k/ sound and when it is making a /s/ sound. It contains 24 word and picture cards containing a mix of the hard and soft C. Students are required to:

  • read the word on the card
  • identify whether the letter C is hard or soft
  • place the card under the correct sort heading. 

One Resource, Multiple Applications!

Use this resource as an English group activity or with your whole class to explore the hard and soft C sounds with your students.

Have students shuffle the cards and split the deck equally between players, then take turns placing the cards on the correct sorting heading.

Alternatively, give each student a mini whiteboard and a whiteboard marker. Project each card onto your whiteboard, then have them write /k/ or /s/ on their boards. When everyone has written down their answer, say, “Show Me.” Students will flip their boards, allowing you to see who needs extra support.

Scaffolding + Extension Tips 

Challenge students who already understand the concept to compile lists of words that contain the hard and soft C sound. 

Support students who need help understanding the concepts by providing visual reminders, such as a classroom poster or anchor chart.

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

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

Before You Download

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or Google Slides version of this resource.


This resource was created by Kendall Britnell, a Teach Starter collaborator.

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