Printable Beginning Sounds Phoneme Substitution Cards

These free printable beginning sounds phoneme substitution cards engage students in reading CVC words and substituting initial phonemes. It is perfect for your phonemic awareness and phonics lessons!

Phoneme substitution phonemic awareness and phonics activity for kids who are learning to read.

Beginning Sounds Phoneme Substitution Cards

Students will love these beginning sounds word cards that have them read a CVC word, then change the beginning sound to create a new word that matches the picture. There are 20 cards in the free resource, 4 for each short vowel.

These are designed for preschool, kindergarten, and first-grade students. They focus on phonemic awareness and phonics.

These letter cards would make a great literacy center or word-building activity. This letter sound task is easy to prep and has tons of benefits for your students. Read the rest of the blog post to get your free resource and lots of ideas to use the task cards in the classroom.

Free printable phoneme substitution phonics activity for kids in kindergarten and first grade. There is a CVC word at the top right hand side of the card and then an arrow pointing to a picture of another CVC word with the same ending, but different initial phoneme. Students will build the word pictured in the 3 boxes at the bottom of the card.

Easy to Prep!

Once you get this resource, you will print and cut the cards apart. I would laminate them for added durability. You could also leave the pages whole and slide them into wipe and write pockets. Then have students use dry erase markers to write the new word. Gather some letter manipulatives, and you are ready to go!

Setting Up the Beginning Sounds Word Cards

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Supplies Needed:

  • Beginning Sounds Word Cards (button to access the resource at the bottom of this post)
  • Write and wipe pockets (optional)
  • letter manipulatives
  • dry erase marker (optional)


  1. Print the mats.
  2. Slide the mats into write and wipe pockets OR cut them apart and laminate them.
  3. Gather other manipulatives.
  4. Store the entire activity in a large bag or storage container.
Phoneme substitution activity for kids who are learning to read.

How To Use The Phoneme Substitution Cards

Students will pick a card and read the CVC word. Then, they will look at the picture for the new word they are supposed to make. Students will stretch the word to isolate the sounds and spell the new CVC word in the boxes.

They can use letter manipulatives or dry erase markers to make the new CVC word. Students will improve their reading skills, phonics skills, and fine motor skills in one activity.

A free printable phonics activity for practice with initial phoneme substitution.

More Ideas!

These beginning sounds word cards can be used for all levels of students. If a student struggles with sounding out words, you could fill in the last two letters, and they only have to find the beginning sound. This is an excellent task for students that are building letter and sounds awareness skills.

More advanced students could have a recording sounds worksheet to write down the answers they made. Then they could use the new word in a sentence.

These cards could be used for:

  • Morning work
  • Early finishers task
  • Tutoring resource
  • Small group activity
  • Literacy centers
  • Pocket chart centers
  • Partner task
  • At home project
Use these phoneme substitution cards to practice phonemic awareness and phonics skills in a fun, engaging way.

Students can practice CVC words, and you can teach phoneme isolation and phoneme substitution with ease and less time preparing resources.

Grab this free phoneme substitution activity to make your little learners soar this spring!

Click the button below to get the Beginning Sounds Word Cards and incorporate them into your lesson plans!

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CVC Words Clip Cards

CVC Word Building Strips

CVC Middle Vowel Sounds Board Game

CVC Word Sorting Mats for Slides and Seesaw

CVC Word Building Mats for Slides and Seesaw

CVC Word Work Activities and Games

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