Phonics Worksheets

Sounds and Vowels Worksheets

Coloring Activity

You color the long and short vowels as you find them in the drawing. Practice sheets for working on long and short sounds. We integrate vowels with all of the exercises.

Word Beginning and Ending Worksheets

Students work on starting and finishing words.

  1. Beginning Sounds (bl-, ca-, ne) - e give you an example word and a word bank to match like beginning sounds. A great exercise.
  2. Beginning Word Sounds (fo-, gl-, ha-) - We find the starting sound fo- and ph- to get a lot of confusion going in kids. We have another worksheet coming out to clear that one up.
  3. The Beginning Sounds of Words (la-, pl-, sh-) - List all the words that have similar sounds. For a challenge, you can have students name additional words that are not part of the word list.
  4. The Beginning Sounds of Words (sl-, sp-, st-) (No Word List) - Students have to come up with their own sounds that begin similarly to "spider", "slippers", and "star".
  5. Beginning Sounds Quiz: Circle Letters
  6. Beginning Sounds Quiz: Initials
  7. Word Endings (-mp, -nd, -sk) - Match the endings from the word list that match up with sand, blimp, and desk.
  8. Word Endings (-mp, -nd, -st) - Students think up words that end with the same letter pairs and sounds as band, chimp, and nest.
  9. Matching the Ending of Words ( -ck, -ok) - Match up word endings to the pictures that represent word endings.

Vowel Sound Identification

  • The Importance of Vowels - In many cases you can use just about any vowel to complete the chart. You can make it into a unique contest. Who ever has the most unique words, wins!
  • Short Vowel Review - Some students will tell you that these look like toilet bowls. Our authors were shooting for rings. Kids always say the craziest things though.
  • Finding like Short Vowels - Find the vowel sounds that match up with the original sound that is presented to you.
  • Vowels That Change Word Meaning - This is fun and can even be used as a class contest. Remember that you can change only one letter per instance. Some words have two or more vowels.
  • Vowels That Make the Same Sounds - We give you a word and then ask you to find words with similar vowel patterns.
  • Double Vowel ai Words - This is a really cool worksheet. It's raining ai words. All the ai words get left in the puddle after the rain. Write the words that will be left over.
  • Sliding with ea Words - This is one picky slide. It only likes kids that have certain words with a specific vowel pair. They get to slide.
  • Understanding oo Words - It starts out simple, but gets difficult really quickly when students realize that they need to add their own oo words that they dream up.
  • Using oy and oi Words in Sentences - Some curriculum sets qualify "y" as a vowel in some situations. What does your curriculum say about it? It's good to know that.
  • Phonics Lesson Plans

Using Specific Vowels

We work with long and short vowel sounds in a diverse and meaningful way.

Read and Draw Word Sounds

This set has you read and say words allowed and then determine matching words from pictures that you are provided with. Everything you need to master and to teach vowel sounds. All aligned to the core curriculum.

Sounds That Consonant and Consonant-Vowel Pairs Make

We work with letter pairs and look at how the sounds are transformed by adding mixtures of letters and roots.

  1. The Sounds of A, B, C. and D - A mix of sounding out and using related concepts for the letters a, b, c, and d.
  2. The Sounds of ar and ea - Work with the -ar sound and the double vowel pair -ea.
  3. The Sounds of e, f, g, and h - Work on letters of the alphabet and the sounds that they make in sentences. We draw the sentences.
  4. Working With the Sounds of i, j, k, and l - Pronounce the letters given, read the sentence and then write your own sentence using the same sound.
  5. The Sounds made by: qu, r, s, and t - This sheet focuses on the use of phonograms in sentences.
  6. The th and ee Sounds Worksheet - This double consonant and double vowel pair challenge many students because they are a bit unique.
  7. The Sounds Made By the Letters: u, v, w, x - The letters at the end of the alphabet get a deep workout.
  8. Sounds stuck At the End of the Alphabet: y and z - This is a nice little exercise to get students going on this one.

Phonics and Sound Related Word Puzzles

A wide range of printable puzzles that reinforce phonics skills.

  1. Words Ending in "able" - Word sets that contain the -able ending. We also include a little exercise at the end for them too.
  2. Words Containing -ay- - The word puzzle helps them get a rhythm with the spelling of the words.
  3. Long and Short -e- - In the puzzle we have you find a mix of long and short vowel based words. Then we have you point out the long e words to us.
  4. Words With -eigh- - These letter chunks are found in the middle of words. It makes it a bit more difficult to find words based off of those blocks.
  5. Words That End With -en- - Students seem to get through the puzzle portion quickly, but the challenge slows them down in their tracks.
  6. Long u Words That Are Spelled -ew- - The ending exercise is always fun. They love to use the words "threw" and "chew" for some reason.
  7. Words That End In -ful - At the end of the puzzle we ask you to come up with five of your own words. For some reason that is almost automatic for most learners.
  8. Words that End In -ge - This worksheet goes by quicker than most because words are well spaced from one another.
  9. Words That Have the Silent Consonant -gh- - The exercise at the end seems like a cinch at first, but a number of students have trouble with it.
  10. Words That End In -ible - We tried to make the challenge a bit more difficult, but most students breeze right through it.
  11. Words That End With -in- - A great technique to help them improve spelling is to have them highlight all the instances of -in within the puzzle before they tackle finding the words.
  12. Words That End With -ind- - Students usually have little problem spelling these words and sounding them out.
  13. Words That Start With the Silent Consonant -kn- - This prefix takes students longer to work with. It must be the silent sounding portion of the word span.
  14. Words That End In -less Puzzle - If you have students focus on the postfix when looking for words, they will fly through this one.
  15. Words That End In -ly - Is it me, of do words with the postfix -ly involve many letters. Can you think of one that has less than six letters?
  16. Words That Contain the Silent Consonant -mb - This was a different approach for us. There are eight words in there that have the -mb consonant pair, you just have to find them. No word banks here.
  17. Words That End In The -ment Suffix - The words are rather long with this batch, but than again; the postfix already has four letters.
  18. Words That Contain the Suffix -ness- - Find all the -ness words in there. They are really postfix, unlike what the title states.
  19. Long u spelled -oo- Word Puzzle - We don't give you the words you need to find, we give you clues to find said words.
  20. Long o Sound Spelled -ow- - This is a straight forward puzzle with zero tricks and full words provided to you.
  21. Words That End In -sion - The culminating activity at the end of the sheet makes for some creative fun.
  22. Words Ending In -tion - We use this postfix most in the English language, at least in written as cited in Webster's. I do have causation to question that selection.
  23. Long u spelled -ue- - We get back on the horse with our vowel based puzzle. We give you short clues.
  24. Words Containing the Silent Consonant -wr- - For some reason this prefix seems to jam up most people. They get stumped with the ending exercise too.
  25. Long i and e sound spelled with -y- Word Puzzle - The sly consonant that spies itself as a vowel. This is one you might need to spend extra time with.

What Is Phonics Instruction?

As a teacher or a parent, the most important thing for you is for your child to do well in school and life. Reading and writing skills are the first academic skills children learn as they enter school. Phonics is a great way to teach and refine these skills as children progress.

According to research, phonics instruction can, from an early stage, helps children become socially, culturally and emotionally intelligent. Another essential fact research has shown that teaching phonics effectively to children lays a foundation for children's success in learning how to read.

Over the years, teaching phonics in school has grown in importance. Phonics helps children how to read, write, speak and listen, the four most essential skills that play a pivotal role during childhood development. You can incorporate phonics instruction into reading programs to encourage children to recognize words by sight.

This article has put together everything you need to know about phonics instruction. Let’s understand what phonics instruction is, what is essential for children, and how can it be taught effectively.


What is It and Why is It Important?

Phonics instruction is a method of teaching children how to read that involves the understanding of letter-sound correspondences and their importance in reading, writing and spelling.

For example, by teaching children how to blend the sounds of words, they will be in a better position to decode or understand words that are unfamiliar to unknown to them.
As children begin learning how to read, learning the sounds of letters can help them relate to written language. Phonics instruction equips children with the skills to sound the words to decode what they are reading and encode spellings.

Speech sounds are known as phonemes. Phonics instructions attempt to teach phonemes and help children understand how they relate to letters of the alphabet. For example, phonics instruction can involve the teacher showing children the letter 'b' while saying /b/ as in ball. This teaches children the relationship between the letter 'a' and the short vowel sound it makes.

By repeatedly tracing the vowel letters and the short sounds, children can understand the relationship between letters and sounds, which brings them one step closer to reading and spelling out words independently.

It is essential to teach phonics for a variety of reasons. When children have to read slightly tricky texts without pictures, they are likely to come across words they are not familiar with, and a string of too many unknown words can be confusing and overwhelming for children.

This is where phonics instruction comes into play. It will help children sound out difficult words even when they don’t understand what they mean.

Sounding out words will also help them ask someone for their meaning, and once they learn what the word means, they will have added new words to their vocabulary.
Therefore, phonics is considered one of the most essential and foundational pillars in the science of reading.

Considering all the research done on phonics instruction, we understand that for children to be confident and skilled readers, they need to have a solid and firm knowledge of how individual speech sounds represent the letters in the alphabet and the relationships that exist between all the speech sounds in the English language.

A Step-by-Step Guide on Teaching Phonics

To teach phonics effectively, you must follow a process that allows children to understand the letter-sounds relationship. We have put together a step-by-step guide that you can follow to teach phonics to your students. Read on to find out!

1. Teach Letter Sounds

Start by teaching children the sounds of letters. Show them all the letters individually and then say the sound that each of those letters represents. You can use songs and nursery rhymes to teach letter sounds. To start, you can teach children the letters S, A, T, P, I, N so that they can sound out words like pin, pat, sat, etc.

Pro tip: there are several songs and rhymes available on YouTube that you can use to teach letter sounds in a fun and engaging manner in your class. Play the songs during your lessons and have fun singing with the students. This is an effective method to use rhymes and tunes to help children memorize the letter sounds.

2. Allow Children to Blend Letter Sounds

Once you have taught them the letter sounds, the next and one of the essential steps in teaching phonics is to learn how to blend the individual letter sounds together to spell out an entire word.

The blending process starts with essential three-letter words with a CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) structure like pan, tap, bag, bat, etc. Once they have mastered sounding and reading three-letter words, you can then move on to CVCC (consonant, vowel, consonant, consonant) words like barn, last and palm.

3. Teach Students How to Read and Write Digraphs

Once children learn letter sounds and understand how they are blended, they need to be taught to read and write digraphs. It would be best if you taught children consonant digraphs such as ‘ch’, ‘sh, ng’ and vowel digraphs such as ‘ea’, ‘oo', and 'ai’. Once children learn digraphs, they will begin sounding out entire words like moon, fair, etc.

While you are getting children the hang of sounding out simple words, you must also introduce them to tricky or uncommon words that don't follow the basic rules of phonics like she, they, all, etc.

4. Segmentation

In the segmentation phase, children need to be taught how first to say the words out loud and then break them down into individual phonemes. This process will help children understand out spell out complicated words. After taking children through these steps, they will learn to spell words phonetically.

Concluding Thoughts

Phonics instruction is a foundational step toward allowing children to be fluent and accurate readers. As children progress, they will begin to understand more complex spelling rules such as silent letters, prefixes etc. With a lot of practice and encouragement, children should be able to read and spell in no time.