The free SPELD SA Phonemic Awareness Tasks have been created for the purpose of helping students develop phonological awareness skills. They are structured using the same sequence of sounds taught in Jolly Phonics and can be used as a part of a class activity, small group work or intensive remedial program.  Each resource comes with an instruction sheet that gives clear and concise steps in how to use the resource, that parents, teachers and Learning Support staff can easily follow.

SPELD SA would like to acknowledge the volunteer work of Emma Humphrey, a Masters Speech Pathologist student, who has worked on preparing the following activities.

Sound Discrimination

What is it?

Sound discrimination (also known as phonemic awareness) refers to the ability to ‘hear’ and distinguish between the sounds (phonemes) in words.

Why is it important?

It is a particularly important foundation skill for learning to read, write and spell. You need to be able to hear a sound in order to recall it and then write or read it.

The first step is to ensure the student can hear sounds in isolation before they attempt to detect sounds within words.

Once the student can hear the individual sounds in isolation they can be taught that words are made up of different sounds and begin to listen for the initial, final or medial sound in a word. For example the word ‘dog’ is made up of three sounds d-o-g. The word ‘boat’ is also made up of three sounds b-oa-t.

This skill paves the way for understanding how to segment, blend and manipulate sounds to create or read new words. For example, if you change the first sound in ‘boat’ to ‘g’ the word becomes ‘goat’.

How to use the activities:

This series of activities is designed to help develop the student’s phonemic awareness abilities. The sets are designed to follow the Jolly Phonics Framework and so are grouped according to the order of sounds that are presented in the Jolly Phonics programme.

We suggest starting with ‘Sound Discrimination’, Level 1 (single sounds) progressing to Level 2 (whole words), before attempting the ‘Peg Cards’, ‘Bingo Boards’ or ‘Sound It Out Cards’ for each set of sounds to ensure the student has a solid understanding of the sounds in each set. If a student is confident with all sounds in a set they can start on the next set.

SET 1: s, a, t, i, p, n

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 1 (Instructions)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 1 Level 1 (Single Sounds)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 1 Level 1 (Whole Words)

‘Peg Cards’, Set 1 instructions

‘Peg Cards’, Set 1

'Bingo Boards', Set 1 instructions

‘Bingo Boards’, Set 1

'Sound It Out Cards’, Set 1 Instructions

‘Sound It Out Cards’, Set 1

SET 2: c, k, ck, e, h, r, m, d

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 2 (Instructions)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 2 Level 1 (Single Sounds)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 2 Level 2 (Whole Words)

‘Peg Cards’, Set 2 Instructions

‘Peg Cards’, Set 2

‘Bingo Boards’, Set 2 Instructions

‘Bingo Boards’, Set 2

‘Sound It Out Cards’, Set 2 Instructions

‘Sound It Out Cards’, Set 2

SET 3: g, o, u, l, f, b

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 3 (Instructions)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 3 Level 1 (single sounds)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 3 Level 2 (Whole words)

‘Peg Cards’, Set 3 - Instructions

‘Peg Cards’, Set 3

‘Bingo Boards’ Set 3 - Instructions

‘Bingo Boards’ Set 3

‘Sound It Out Cards’ Set 3 - Instructions

‘Sound It Out Cards’ Set 3

SET 4: ai, j, oa, ie, ee, or

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 4 (Instructions)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 4 Level 1 (single sounds)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 4 Level 2 (Whole words)

‘Peg Cards’, Set 4 - Instructions

‘Peg Cards’, Set 4

‘Bingo Boards’ Set 4 - Instructions

‘Bingo Boards’ Set 4

‘Sound It Out Cards’ Set 4 - Instructions

‘Sound It Out Cards’ Set 4

SET 5: z, n, ng, v, oo(book), oo(room)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 5 (Instructions)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 5 Level 1 (single sounds)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 5 Level 2 (Whole words)

‘Peg Cards’, Set 5 - Instructions

‘Peg Cards’, Set 5

‘Bingo Boards’ Set 5 - Instructions

‘Bingo Boards’ Set 5

‘Sound It Out Cards’ Set 5 - Instructions

‘Sound It Out Cards’ Set 5

SET 6: y, x, ch, sh, th(think),th(that)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 6 (Instructions)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 6 Level 1 (single sounds)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 6 Level 2 (Whole words)

‘Peg Cards’, Set 6 - Instructions

‘Peg Cards’, Set 6

‘Bingo Boards’ Set 6 - Instructions

‘Bingo Boards’ Set 6

‘Sound It Out Cards’ Set 6 - Instructions

‘Sound It Out Cards’ Set 6

SET 7: qu, ou, oi, ur, er, ar

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 7 (Instructions)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 7 Level 1 (single sounds)

‘Sound Discrimination’, Set 7 Level 2 (Whole words)

‘Peg Cards’, Set 7 - Instructions

‘Peg Cards’, Set 7

‘Bingo Boards’ Set 7 - Instructions

‘Bingo Boards’ Set 7

‘Sound It Out Cards’ Set 7 - Instructions

‘Sound It Out Cards’ Set 7

For more information and ideas on how you can develop phonemic awareness go to

More useful rescources for phonemic awareness

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SPELD SA would like to acknowledge the support of the Douglas Whiting Trust in the development of this website.

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