Activities for Phonological Awareness Onset or Rhyme

Phoneme Awareness

Remember that items must not have the written word on them

INITIAL SOUNDS – can also be used for FINAL SOUND activities

Object or picture matching

Have a selection of objects (easier stage) or pictures (harder stage). The task is to find two objects or pictures which have the same initial/final phoneme.

To make the game easy at the beginning, only select objects for two phonemes which are quite different e.g. s and m.

Remember that there are different levels for this task, depending on whether you need to say the words for the child or whether s/he is able to work from his/here own memory of the word.

Treasure hunt

Place objects or pictures around the room. Say a particular phoneme and the child has to find and fetch an item which has that initial phoneme.

Odd one out

3 items (pictures or objects) 2 have the same initial/final phoneme, one has a different initial phoneme. Child finds the one which is different e.g. hat, car, house.

Which one is mine?

In a small group, each child has 2 or 3 pictures. You say an individual phoneme and the child holds up his picture if it starts/ends with that phoneme. Go round the whole group listing the words and noting that they all start the same.

Word chain

(for older children)

In a group, the task is to give a word which follows from the previous word. There are three ways to play.

  • Each player gives a word which starts with the same phoneme
  • Each player gives a word which ends with the same phoneme
  • Each player has to give a word which starts with the phoneme from the end of the previous word e.g. hat – table – leg – get – tyre

Note that we are working with phonemes here and the way the word is written is not relevant. These activities are about sound patterns.

ONSET-RIME activities for onset and rime may include the use of letters and words since research has shown that the ability to break words down at this level and into phonemes is a development which is part of literacy development.

Break a word

Have a range of pictures out on the table. Say one of the words as onset and rime and the child finds the picture e.g. c-at, s-oap, t-able.

Easy version: have only one item for each onset, then the child can do the activity from identifying the onset alone.

Harder version: have several words for each onset.

Make a word

Have an alphabet arc on the table. Take a spoken rime e.g. ‘up’ and go round the alphabet arc making words by attaching each phoneme to the rime.

Decide whether the words are real words or nonsense.

e.g. up bup – cup – dup – fup – gup – hup – jup – kup – lup – mup – etc.

PHONEME SEGMENTATION Being able to sound out the phonemes in a CVC word by this stage using the written letters and words is a useful support for teaching.

Hear a word

Pictures on the table and you say the word as individual phonemes (see activity for onset/rime on previous page). Child finds the picture.

Later, do the activity without the pictures and the child has to say the word.

Reverse the activity for getting the child to break the word down into sounds.

Sound ladder Involves hearing and writing the sounds

In the ladder, you place a CVC word and explain that the next word you say will fit below with only one change of phoneme. Child writes the word. You may say the word as a whole or as individual phonemes.

Easy version tell the child where the change will be – beginning, middle or end.

Harder version child has to listen and work out where the word changed. You might cue the response by pointing to the correct column as you say the word.

hat cat can
pat mat cap
dat sat cad

You may use both real and nonsense words as this increases the listening load.

Did you find what you were looking for?

Please give us your name, email address and any comments you have.

Last updated: 5 November 2015

Bookmark with:

What are these?