Phonics Games: Make-A-Match Cards (Short Vowels, R-controlled, Vowel Teams)

Grade Levels
1st - 2nd
Resource Type
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This is a discounted bundle of 7 phonics find-a-match resources. (Short vowels, blends, silent e, vowel teams, digraphs, diphthongs, and r-controlled vowels are included.)

Word study matters. Explicit and systematic phonics instruction is critical for our emerging readers. Direct instruction has to be a component of our reading blocks, as well as, opportunities for students to use and apply sounds.

In each resource you will find

  • a note to families to support learning at home
  • 27+ phonics-themed cards (27+ cards, 54+ total matches).
  • recording logs (word and sentence) for play
  • show-what you know assessment (10 questions)

Ways to Use These Cards:

  • Partners: Partner Up! Find a partner who has the same vowel pattern (i.e. picture to picture, or picture to starburst vowel pattern card) as you. Once you find your partner, use your word in a detailed sentence. Be ready to share.
  • Small Group: Make-a-match Card Game (directions below)
  • Whole Group: Tape the picture cards around the room. Read/write the room to collect the words and their vowel patterns

These games works best if introduced in a small group and then added as a Word Work choice or reading center. To make the cards easier for students to hold, I cut a sit in the middle of a 1.5 inch section of a pool noodle to act as a card holder.

To Play:

  1. Students play in groups of 2-3 friends.
  2. Leader deals each player 5 cards.
  3. Place remaining cards in the middle (or pond).
  4. Students take turns asking each other for a short vowel – “Do you have a _____… like in _____?” and making matches. If asked and a student doesn’t have the card, they respond “Go to the Pond!”
  5. As students ”lose” cards or make matches, they replace their cards from the pond.
  6. When the first person has no cards left and there are no cards in the pond, that player is the winner. The team reshuffles the cards and plays again.

Students love playing games to practice the skills being learned. It keeps us active and engaged– which is perfect for our Primary Classrooms.

My best,

Catherine - The Brown Bag Teacher

Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Year
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs.
Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.


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