teaching resource

Phoneme Deletion Match-Up Activity

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 7 pages | Grades: K - 1

Create new words by deleting initial and final phonemes through 32 match-up cards.

Playing with words is essential for building a fully-formed vocabulary

In fact, one of the most exciting parts of the English language is its fluidity—how we can manipulate words by simply removing, adding, or substituting a sound. 

Your students will develop phonemic awareness by seeing what happens when they delete initial and final sounds from certain words.  

In this game, students will construct words by deleting phonemes and matching the new word to its picture card.

Practice Phoneme Deletion to Make New Words

This resource can be used as a reading center activity, with your guided reading group, or as a whole class activity (see below) to practice creating new words by deleting sounds.

To play, shuffle the cards and place them face down in rows in the middle of the playing area. Players take their turn by flipping over two cards to find a match. For example, if the student pulls the “train – t” card, they would match it to the “🌧” card because removing the /t/ phoneme from the word train creates the word “rain.” 

If the cards make a match, the player picks up the cards, keeps them, and takes another turn. If the cards do not match, they turn the cards back over and the next player takes their turn. Play continues until there are no more cards left in the playing area. The player with the most matches wins!

More Ways to Play with Phoneme Deletion + Scaffolding and Extension Tips

This resource can be used for individual instruction, especially if you’ve got fast finishers! You can also use this game to create full-class learning opportunities like scoot 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. 

Show Me!

Give each student a mini dry-erase board and a dry-erase marker. Project a phoneme deletion card and have your students write the new word made on their board. When everyone has written down their answer, say, “Show Me.” Students will flip their boards, allowing you to see who needs extra support with this skill.

Odd Man Out

Set up 8 stations by placing three cards at desks throughout the room—1 phoneme deletion card and 2 picture cards, making sure 1 of the picture cards completes the deleted phoneme pair. Student pairs will rotate through each station and identify the cards that match, writing their answers on a separate sheet of paper. 

Knock Off

Have your students stand up and make a line across the room. Project a phoneme deletion card on the screen. Use our Random Name Picker widget to draw a student’s name and have them tell you the new word created when the specified phoneme is removed. If the student correctly identifies the new word, they tap the person on their left or right to send them back to their seat. If the student answers the card incorrectly, they must sit out. Play continues until there is only 1 student standing.

Check out 10 helpful scaffolding strategies here! 

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Print on cardstock for added durability and longevity. Place all game parts 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. 


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