Teaching Resource

Four in a Row Game - Letter Sounds

PDF, Google Slides | 11 pages|Grades: Pre-K - 1

Practice applying letter-sound correspondence with 26 picture cards, 26 letter cards, and a beginning letter sounds picture game board.

The first step on the path to reading is getting a solid grasp of the letters of the alphabet and their sounds. 

Start by stimulating your students’ phonological awareness through play with our Four in a Row game! Students will choose a card, identify the initial letter sound, and find a picture with the same beginning sound as they try to connect four in a row. 

Practice Identifying Beginning Letter Sounds

This resource can be used as a reading center activity, with your guided reading group, or as a full class activity (see below) to practice applying letter-sound correspondence.

Provide players with a set of manipulatives (counters, mini erasers, cubes, bears) to cover the pictures they find. To play, choose a card and say the word or letter sound.  Find a picture on the game board that starts with the same beginning sound and cover it.  Connect four squares in a row to win! When the cards run out, mix them up and start again!

More Beginning Sound Activities + Scaffolding and Extension Tips

This resource can be used for individualized practice, especially if you’ve got fast finishers! You can also use this game to create full-class learning opportunities like group activities, lesson reviews, comprehension assessments, and more. 

Invite students to use a visual reminder, like an anchor chart or an alphabet display, to sound out words they may struggle with. 

Alphabetical Order

As students are playing the game, challenge them to put the picture cards or letter cards in alphabetical order.


During small group instruction, create a grid of 5 picture cards on top of a table. Give each student a fly swatter. Show the students a picture card and have them swat the letter card that matches the sound. The first student to swat it correctly sets the card aside in their own pile to keep score. The student with the most cards wins. 

Find Your Match

Provide each student in your class with either a picture card or a letter card and challenge them to find the person whose letter matches the beginning sound of their word and vice versa. For an extra challenge, make the activity a race, or ask the students to complete the task in silence!

Check out 10 helpful scaffolding strategies here! 

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

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

Before You Download

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

This resource was created by Lindsey Phillips, a teacher in Michigan and a Teach Starter Collaborator. 

Save yourself valuable lesson planning time by adding these fun initial sounds activities to your literacy unit! 


  Common Core Curriculum alignment

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