teaching resource

Syllables Dominoes

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 6 pages | Grades: PK - 1

Segment and count syllables in words with a set of 28 image and number dominoes.

What’s in a word?

More than letters, they’re made up of sounds—sounds that you only really focus on when confronted with a word not already in your vocabulary.   

Perfect for beginning readers! 

By segmenting syllables, you listen more carefully to each phoneme. That means you can focus on one sound at a time, making spelling a more manageable task. 

To play our engaging card game, students will look at the picture, count the syllables and connect it with a matching number domino. 

Practice Counting Syllables in Words

Use this resource in your reading center, as a guided reading activity, or a whole class exercise (see below) to practice isolating syllables in words.

Shuffle and divide the dominoes equally among players. To start, a player lays down a domino in the middle of the playing area. Students then take turns matching either side of the card—the image or number—with the dominoes in their hands. 

For example, if a player were to lay down the “3 | 🍕 (pizza)” domino, the next player could lay down a 2 card on the right (because pizza has 2 syllables), or a word with 3 syllables (like 🐘 elephant) on the left. Gameplay continues in this manner until all of the dominoes are gone.

An answer key is included so that students can self-check their matches.

Scaffolding and Extension Tips + More Syllable Activities

Challenge students who already understand the concept to put the pictures in alphabetical order. 

If your students are having trouble identifying each syllable, show them how to clap it out. This makes the act of sounding out words fun (they love to make noise)! Plus, students engage multiple senses while working on phonological awareness skills.  

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

🧮 Syllable Sort

Looking at just the picture side, have students sort the cards into piles of 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-syllable words. 

👂 Spell It Out

Use the cards to show students how breaking words down into their syllables can help them as they learn to spell. Choose 4 cards, one for each number of syllables, and project them on your smartboard. Working together as a class, sound out the words on the picture side of the cards a syllable at a time by asking students which phonemes they hear. Write the words on the board as the students match up the sounds to the letters. 

🃏 Upcycle Into Playing Cards

When students tire of the dominoes element, turn this game into a deck of cards! Break out your scissors and cut the dominoes into image and number cards. Students can play games like Match It, Go Fish, or Snap (to name a few). 

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. 

Before You Download

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or Google Slides version of this resource. A recording sheet is also included with this download.

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


Clap it out with more syllable activities to stimulate the senses! 

Image of Syllable Count Sorting Activity

teaching resource

Syllable Count Sorting Activity

Practice segmenting and counting syllables in words with this set of 24 picture sorting cards.

Teach Starter Publishing7 pagesGrades: PK - K
Image of Syllable Sort

teaching resource

Syllable Sort

Use this Syllable Sort Game to assist your students in identifying syllables in different words.

Teach Starter Publishing7 pagesGrades: PK - 1
Image of Four in a Row Game - Syllables

teaching resource

Four in a Row Game - Syllables

Segment words into syllables as you count them with this set of 24 picture cards and syllable-count gameboard.

Teach Starter Publishing6 pagesGrades: PK - K


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