Community Helpers Beginning Sounds Mats
As students learn more about letter recognition, they must practice the sounds associated with these letters. This community helpers activity is perfect for working on those initial sounds.
These community helpers-themed beginning sounds letter mats give students a hands-on, fun way to practice recognizing and isolating beginning sounds. Another great benefit is they will develop key phonemic awareness skills as they match the correct letter to the picture that starts with that beginning sound.
This literacy activity can be used in a variety of instructional settings. It can be used for independent work, small groups, literacy centers, or as a form of assessment. This can also be incorporated into leveled guided reading or RTI groups.
This letter matching activity is excellent for preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, and first-grade students. Keep reading for more ideas for differentiation to meet the various learning needs of your students!
These community helper beginning sounds mats do not require complicated or time-consuming prep! The steps are quick and easy. Simply print, laminate, and go! Instead of laminating, you can slide the mats into a write and wipe pocket for added durability.
There are 3 different beginning sound mats with 9 pictures each. The mats have each letter and sound of the alphabet.
This activity includes a color AND a black and white version. Therefore, you can use them even if you don’t have access to color printing or are limited on your colored copies. You can even print black and white mats and let your students color them. This will then incorporate a little extra fine motor practice and makes learning fun!
Another way to save time is to use these for small groups or centers, you can print fewer mats, making prep faster!
All you need for this activity are a set of letter tiles, magnetic letters, letter beads, or any other alphabet manipulative you have.
For easy storage, put the beginning sound mats in a large baggie, file folder, or storage tray for easy grab-and-go access. Now you can use them every fire safety or community helpers unit.
Setting Up The Community Helpers Mats
- Community Helpers beginning sounds matching mats (button to get your freebie at the bottom of the post)
- Letter tiles or another letter manipulative
- Write and wipe pockets (optional)
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- Print the community beginning sound picture card mats.
- Laminate or slide into write and wipe pockets.
- Then, gather letter tiles or letter manipulative of your choice.
- Finally, store the entire activity in a large baggie, file folder, or storage tray.
Using the Beginning Sounds Mats
For this activity, students will look at the picture on the community helper card. Then they will isolate the beginning sound of the word. Next, they will determine what letter makes that sound. Finally, they will take the correct letter manipulative and cover the picture with the manipulative, matching the letter and beginning sound.
Students can take this literacy activity a step further by saying the word aloud, stating the beginning sound, and which letter makes that sound. For students ready for a challenge, have them say a sentence using that word. If they are working as partners, they can take turns telling each other.
You could even provide students with a recording sheet and have them write both the uppercase letter and lowercase letter represented by each beginning sound.
Differentiated Community Helpers Sounds Mats
There are a variety of ways that these community helper matching mats can be differentiated to meet the needs of your students. Since there are 3 different mats, you can start by having your students complete only 1 mat. As their skills progress, they can work their way up to completing 2 mats and then all 3 mats!
A fun way to engage your students is to turn all 3 mats face-down. Have them draw a mat to complete. This is a fun game for them!
Another way to use this activity is to have the students draw a letter manipulative and find the picture from the 3 mats that begins with that sound. Simply switching up the way students match the letters and sounds works their brains differently. They will use their phonics and problem-solving skills to search from the pictures to find the match.
More Ideas to Differentiate
Students could also use these matching mats with partners as well. They could take turns matching letters and pictures or work together to complete the mat. This helps them work cooperatively and allows them to encourage and coach each other along the way.
Another idea would be to use these letter mats as a tic-tac-toe game or bingo board. Students could play in partners with different colored letter manipulatives and work to get 3 in a row for tic-tac-toe.
Lastly, to play bingo, students could all have different mats. As the teacher calls out beginning sounds, students will see if they have the corresponding picture, working on getting a bingo.
With so many ways to use this activity, your learners are going to be engaged all year with these community helper-themed mats. I can’t wait for your students to practice beginning sounds and letter recognition with this cute and easy to prep literacy center activity! They will love this sound activity and will be better readers in no time!
Click the button below to get the Community Helper Beginning Sounds Mats and incorporate them into your lesson plans!