Rainbow Beginning Sounds Matching Mats
As students begin to learn more about letter recognition with lowercase letters and upper case letters, it is essential that they practice the sounds associated with these letters. This rainbow alphabet activity is perfect for working on those initial sounds.
These St. Patrick’s Day beginning sounds letter mats give students a hands-on, fun spring way to practice recognizing and isolating beginning sounds. They will develop critical 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, early finishers, morning work, or as a form of assessment. This can also be incorporated into leveled guided reading or RTI groups.
This letter matching rainbow activity is excellent for preschool, kindergarten, and first-grade students. Keep reading for more ideas for differentiation to meet the various learning needs of your students! Kids love rainbows, and you will love these educational letters mats!
No Complicated Prep!
These spring-themed 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 also slide the mats into a write and wipe pocket for added durability.
There are three different beginning sound mats with nine pictures each. All 26 letters of the alphabet are present.
These mats come in color AND black and white. 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 incorporates a little extra fine motor practice and adds fun to the learning!
If you plan 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. When you are done with the mats for the season, simply store them with your seasonal activities. Now you can use them every spring.
Setting Up the Rainbow Beginning Sounds Mats
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Rainbow beginning sounds matching mats (button to access them at the bottom of the post)
- Letter tiles or another letter manipulative
- Write and wipe pockets (optional)
- Print the rainbow beginning sound picture card mats.
- Laminate or slide into write and wipe pockets.
- Gather letter tiles or letter manipulative of your choice.
- Store the entire activity in a large baggie, file folder, or storage tray.
Using the Beginning Sounds Rainbow Mats
For this activity, students will look at the picture on the rainbow card. They will then isolate the beginning sound of the word and determine what letter makes that sound. Next, 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 in 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.
Teachers could use the spring 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.
To play bingo, students could all have different mats. As the teacher calls out beginning sounds, students will look to see if they have the corresponding picture, working on getting a bingo.
Differentiated Rainbow Beginning Sounds Matching Activities
There are a variety of ways that these rainbow matching mats can be differentiated to meet the needs of your students. Since there are three different mats, you can start by having your students complete only one 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 as they search from the pictures to find the match.
Students could 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.
I hope these spring mats are just what you need to engage your students and help them master their beginning sounds. The pictures used on the mats are kid-friendly and fun to keep your students busy while you do all the things! Grab these free mats for St. Patrick’s Day, a spring theme, or weather study!
Click the button below to get the Rainbow Beginning Sounds Matching Mats! Happy Spring!