Phoneme Substitution Activities
Changing the Words by Manipulating the Sounds
As you'll know by just reading through some of the articles on our site here, phonemic awareness is the key to teaching children to read. To help accomplish this, we've created a set of worksheets covering different aspects of phonemic awareness, and this page includes phoneme substitution activities.
What is it? Phoneme substitution is simply changing one word into a new word by changing any one of its sounds. We'll use the word "BAND" as an example.
- replace the /b/ sound with /s/ sound, now we have "SAND"
- replace the ending /d/ sound with /k/ sound, now we have "BANK".
- substitute the short /a/ sound with a short /e/ sound, now we have "BEND".
Please watch the short video below showing us working on some substitution tasks with our 3.5 year old son.
Phonemic Substitution Worksheets
We have prepared two worksheets for your child to practice sound substitution tasks below. They are provided in PDF format.
I'll briefly explain how it works. Take a look at the first worksheet. In the first row, you see 3 boxes containing:
- 3 words: Sat, Map, Mart
- Below each word is an image: cat, cap, and cart.
The goal of the first row is to replace all the beginning sounds with the /c/ sound. So:
- /s/ /a/ /t/ becomes /c/ /a/ /t/ "cat"
- Map becomes "cap"
- Mart becomes "cart"
The first worksheet works with replacing some consonant sounds while the second sheet includes some short vowel substitution tasks. When working on these, please SAY OUT LOUD each of the words nice and slow, to help you child HEAR each of the sounds. The key to developing phonemic awareness is learning about and learning to work with the individual sounds.
If you would like to help your child develop phonemic awareness and become a super fluent reader, click the link below: