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Phoneme Identity and Isolation

What is Phonemic Isolation?

Phoneme identification and isolation are 2 slightly different concepts that we'll explain here, and as well, provide a set of activity worksheets for each. Phoneme isolation, as the name suggests, involves identifying each of the individual sounds in a word. It also involves noting the position of where those sounds appear in the word.

Using the word "dog" as example, you can ask a child where the /g/ sound is located: at the start of the word, in the middle, or at the end?

What is Phoneme Identity?


This deals with identifying the same sound in different words. For example, you can ask a child what is the common sound in the words: cat, camp, and cup. The answer is the /c/ sound.

The purpose of these are to help children discover the concept that the words of our speech comprise of different sounds, and by learning about these sounds and learning how to connect these sounds that we can then learn to decode and read effectively.

Phoneme Isolation Worksheets

We have 2 printable worksheets here for working on phonemic isolation. Click image icons below to download the PDF files.

(For personal use only.)


I'll briefly explain how to work on these with your child. Using the first sheet as example, in the first row, there is a mug, map, and jam, and your child's goal is to find and mark where the /m/ sound appears in each word. For "mug", the /m/ sound comes first, so the first box has a check mark as shown in the example. For "jam" the /m/ sound comes last, so your child would mark off the 3rd box.

Phoneme Identity Worksheets

We also have 2 activity worksheets for phoneme identification as well.


This is fairly simple and straightforward, and I'll briefly explain how to work on it as well. Taking the first sheet as an example, in the first box, you see 3 images of a bat, hat, and cat. Ask your child to identify all the common sounds in these words. For these, the /a/ and /t/ sounds are common to all 3 words.

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