Teaching Resource

Vowel Teams Picture Puzzle

PDF, Google Slides | 2 pages|Grades: 1 - 2

Practice decoding words with long vowel team conventions with this 15 piece picture puzzle.

Vowel teams are a phonological awareness strategy for decoding words with 2 consecutive vowels that make one sound. 

For example, /ea/, /oa/, /ie/. 

In this game, students will identify words by picture and match them to their vowel team sounds in each word.    

Get Vowel Team Practice through a Fun Puzzle! 

Use this resource as a reading center activity, with your guided reading group, or as a whole class activity (see below) to practice decoding words with vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.

This vowel team activity includes the following words:

  • honey
  • tree
  • rain
  • soap
  • fries
  • crow
  • bee
  • coat
  • sheep
  • gray
  • pie
  • train
  • eat
  • leaf
  • key

To play, students will read each word and cover the matching picture to complete the puzzle. 

The great thing about this resource is that it is self-checking: when students have finished placing the pieces onto the board, a complete picture is revealed!

Scaffolding and Extension Tips + More Vowel Team Activities

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

Students who need the extra challenge can produce rhyming words for each word, and/or put the words in alphabetical order.

Invite struggling students to use a visual reminder of vowel team conventions, like a poster or anchor chart, to sound out words that give them any difficulty. 

Draw It! 

Use this activity as a formative assessment. Pick a random assortment of puzzle pieces and project them on the board for the whole class to see. Have each student pick 3 words and write them on a separate sheet of paper. Then, have the students draw a picture for each word, showing they’ve read the word and understand what it is.  

Match Me If You Can

In your guided reading group, give each student 3-5 cards that only they can see. Then, point to a picture on the board and have them say the word as a group. The student who has the vowel team word card lays it down face up. The first person to have all their cards face up wins.

Upcycle into Playing Cards

When students tire of the puzzle element, turn this game into a deck of cards! Break out your scissors and cut up the board so that you have an equal amount of words and pictures. Students can play card games like Match It, Go Fish, or Snap!, to name a few.  

Check out 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. 

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. 

We’ve got vowel activities galore! Check out a few teacher- (and student) approved games and more below: 


Teach Starter Publishing
Published by Teach Starter Publishing
We create premium quality, downloadable teaching resources for primary/elementary school teachers that make classrooms buzz!

Comments & Reviews

Write a review to help other teachers and parents like yourself. If you would like to request a change (Changes & Updates) to this resource, or report an error, simply select the corresponding tab above.

Log in or sign up to join the conversation.

Suggest a change

Would you like something changed or customized on this resource? While our team evaluates every suggestion, we can't guarantee that every change will be completed.

You must be logged in to request a change. Sign up now!

Report an Error

You must be logged in to report an error. Sign up now!

If any of our resources do not have 100% accurate American English (en-US), simply click on the 'Report an error' tab above to let us know. We will have the resource updated and ready for you to download in less than 24 hours. Read more...


Are you having trouble downloading or viewing this resource? Please try the following steps:

  1. Check that you are logged in to your account
  2. Check that you have a paid subscription
  3. Check that you have installed Adobe Reader (download here)

If you are still having difficulty, please visit the Teach Starter Help Desk or contact us.

Contact us

More time-saving Vowels resources!

Show more Vowels resources