teaching resource

Sweet Phonemes - Segmentation Sorting Activity

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 9 pages | Grades: K - 1

Practice segmenting phonemes in common words with this sweet sorting activity.

Counting Phonemes Has Never Been So Sweet!

Current research has identified that phonemic awareness is vital if our students are to become successful readers and writers. Therefore, it is essential to provide our students with numerous and varied opportunities to identify and manipulate the individual sounds in words. That’s where we come in! 

This phonics sorting activity has been designed to help your students identify and count the number of phonemes in 2, 3, 4, and 5 phoneme words. It contains 16 sorting cards, four sorting mats, a recording sheet, and an answer key.

How to Use This Phoneme Segmentation Sorting Activity

  1. Print and cut out the resource. Cardstock is recommended for added durability.
  2. Provide students with the cards, sorting mats, and a recording sheet.
  3. Students say the word corresponding to the picture on the card, then segment it into its phonemes. For example, the word “tree” has three phonemes: t-r-ee. 
  4. Students place the card on the correct sorting mat. As an extension, students can draw a picture from each card stack on their recording sheet.

To make this a self-checking activity, write the correct number of phonemes on the back of the card to help students self-assess their work. 

Tips for Extension and Scaffolding

A team of dedicated, experienced educators created this resource to support your phonics instruction. It can be used for small groups, whole-class learning, or independent practice.

If you have a mixture of above and below-level learners, check out these suggestions for keeping students on track with the concepts:

🆘 Support Struggling Students

Provide students with concrete manipulatives, such as counters or buttons, to act as physical representations of the phonemes in each word.

Challenge Fast Finishers

Encourage fast finishers to create more picture cards and sort them under the correct headings.

Download the File Format That Suits You

Use the dropdown menu next to the Download button to access the PDF or Google slides version of this resource.


This resource was created by Anna Helwig, a teacher in Arizona and a Teach Starter collaborator.

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