teaching resource

Secret Message Task Cards - Beginning Sounds

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 12 pages | Grades: K - 1

Apply letter-sound correspondence with this set of 20 task cards.

Turn your room full of readers into miniature sleuths with our Secret Message Task Cards! 🔎

To play, students will put their phonological awareness skills to work to identify the beginning sound in each picture and write it above the picture to reveal a secret message.  

Practice Identifying and Writing Initial Sounds

Use this resource in your reading center, as a guided reading activity, or a whole class exercise (see below) to practice applying letter-sound correspondence.

The students will choose a card, identify the beginning letter sound from each image, and write the letter above the picture to decode the secret message.

Scaffolding and Extension Tips + More Initial Sound Games

Challenge students who already understand the concept to produce additional words with the same letter-sound correspondence. 

Support students who need help understanding the concepts by referring them to a visual reference like an alphabet poster or anchor chart. 

Use this resource as independent practice for fast finishers, and for full-class learning opportunities like scoot activities, lesson reviews, formative assessments, and more.

🛴 Scoot Activity

Place the task cards around the room in numerical order and instruct students to number a sheet of paper 1-20. Assign each student a number to start. Give students an appropriate amount of time to read the card and determine the secret message, and then say, “SCOOT.” At this time, the students will rotate to the next card. Continue in this manner until students have made it through all of the cards. 

🔤 Letter Counters 

This version is especially helpful for those students who are struggling to write their letters. Gather a few dozen plastic counters and write 1 letter of the alphabet on each one. Instead of the student writing the letters, they will choose the counter that matches the first letter of each picture and place them in the appropriate square. You will be able to check their work and help with any words or letters giving the student trouble. 

🧑‍🏫 Group Lesson 

Using your smartboard or another projection device, present the entire sheet and work through the sentences together as a whole class. 

Get our 10 Best 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. 

Keep the task cards out of pockets or under desks: cut out the cards and punch a hole in the corner of each to place them on a binder ring. 

Before You Download

Use the drop-down icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or Google Slides version of this resource. An answer key is also included with this download.

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


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