Shark Chart!

After learning about Consonant Digraphs with short vowels at the end of the SOUND OUT WORDS section (II.c), and about Bossy R (III.b), it is time to learn about words that have BOTH! Words like…




I was inspired by Shark Week to put together a free set of activities that includes a worksheet, a word search, and a word sort. The words can be sorted two ways: by digraphs or by the Bossy R vowel. The SHARK CHART freebie is available to download at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers. Also available is a free wordlist and set of bookmarks with consonant digraphs and vowel patterns.

PLAY the Shark Chart word search online.

Learn more about Word Sorts and get the free set of word sort games for the Phonics Pow Toolkit.

The ABCs of Games for Reading

Active, Board, & Card Games

When it comes to hands-on games to practice reading skills, a good mix includes Active games, Board games, and Card games. (For free online games for phonics, check out this Symbaloo.) This post contains ideas for each kind of hands-on game.


Phonemic Awareness

Short Vowels (CVC words)

Word Families


  • A. Blend target shoot. Write two different blends with dry erase marker on Solo plastic plates. Mix pictures for the two blends (from flyingintolearning below) to draw and throw a suction cup ball to hit the correct target.
  • B. Picture blend (flyingintolearning) match onto chart (thisreadingmama) or Great Green Grapes Blend Board Game (Super Tutor Tools)
  • C. Initial Blends go fish (Adrian Bruce)

Silent e

Bossy R

Consonant Digraphs

Diphthongs (vowel teams that make new sounds)

Vowel Teams that are often long

  • A. Pick & Toss – Cut 3 equal size holes in a large box or trifold presentation board. Label the holes AI, EA, & OA. Print Marshmallow Match from thebubblegumtree & cut out the word cards. Take turns drawing a card & tossing a ball or beanbag through the correct hole. 1st one to match & toss all three targets wins.
  • B. Make the Cake (Long A-Silent e & vowel teams), Nice Dice Vowel Teams, AI/AY Board game or the Phonics Patterns Board Game Set (Super Tutor Tools)
  • C. Vowel Pattern Yahtzee (Super Tutor Tools)

Sight Words


After learning about Silent e and Bossy R, click on the wheel below to practice the patterns! Make three columns on the top of a page, with the headings: SHORT, LONG, or BOSSY R. Take turns spinning the wheel to choose a column, then roll dice to choose a word. See who can make the longest list of words in 5 minutes.



You can also download a worksheet. It can be printed on cardstock and the words cut apart for a word sort.

Games of all kinds make learning to read fun!

Fun Online Phonics Games

Learning to read isn’t an easy skill to master, and it takes time and practice. But sometimes practicing the skills needed for reading can be fun! Many websites provide free online games that make learning more fun. However, it is not always easy to find games that target a specific phonics skill. The games in … Continue reading “Fun Online Phonics Games”

Learning to read isn’t an easy skill to master, and it takes time and practice. But sometimes practicing the skills needed for reading can be fun! Many websites provide free online games that make learning more fun. However, it is not always easy to find games that target a specific phonics skill. The games in this post are targeted to practice the skills needed to understand the 44 sounds of the English language.

Symbaloo of phonics games at

Please note that many of the games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download Mozilla Firefox. Sadly, Flash will reach end of life at the end of 2020. Some more mobile friendly games are collected at this Symbaloo. More online games at these Symbaloo collections.


Phonological & Phonemic Awareness: Symbaloo collection for Phonemic Awareness

Letter names and sounds


Short vowels and Word families



Silent e

Bossy R

Diphthongs – vowel combinations that make (mostly) new sounds

Vowel Teams that are often long

Vowels that vary: Wild Old Words at

Short or Long Vowels


Consonant Digraphs

Consonants that vary


Open & Closed Syllables

Consonant -le: -le endings memory game at

Schwa: Online Quiz at purposegames

websites in alphabetical order: – a teacher-created website that provides fun and educational games for kids. Pre-K through 5th grade, and includes games for learning letters (also numbers and more) It is free for use on pcs (ads) and can be obtained for mobile or tablet use with a subscription. – arcademic skill builders are free online educational video games that offer a powerful approach to learning basic math, language arts, vocabulary and thinking skills. These are highly engaging and some are multi-player. Apps are available for both Android and iOS. – has many resources on a variety of topics. To access worksheets and more resources there is a subscription fee, but there are many games available for free (with a sign-in) for learning reading skills. AlphabetSyllable CountingShort vowel sort, Short Vowel Sort, Long/Short sortBlends, and Silent E +more. Also Digraphs Hopper & Digraphs Photoshoot, Sight Words Balloon Pop and more, Interactive Stories. – free online games (and worksheets) for phonics.


Galactic Phonics – free resources created by teachers. It can be difficult to find games to practice diphthongs, this site has a good collection plus more. Find them all at Symbaloo. – free online games for phonics, mobile friendly

Kizphonics – an online phonics program which provides a few games on each level free, access beyond that requires a membership.

Learn English Kids -from the British Council – free online learning games

Literactive – many online games for phonics skills including phonemic awareness. So many that I made a Symbaloo of them. There’s also a Tizmos collection. Great resource!

Making English Fun – many online games, apps are available.

Mr Nussbaum – has lots of mobile friendly literacy games and interactive resources. Build words with Word Maker and blend sounds with Sound Garden.  (Two Letters with both digraphs & blends available with upgrade) – a website from the Public Broadcasting System which is aimed at preschool kids.

phonics bloom – many games that work on pc and mobile devices, some free and more with subscription – free for schools, libraries, & educational organizations with 10 or more students. Parents can pay for access, and there is an app available. has lots of reading games. Many are available for both pc & mobile. – some content free, more with registration – an educational publisher of books and materials for grades PreK to 12+. Some games are available on pc only at SadlierConnect

Skillswise – provided by the British Broadcasting Corporation, this website includes a section of English Games. There is lots more about reading, writing, and math for higher levels. – provides many resources for free, including Phonics plus other resources. A premium subscription is available that removes ads and lets teachers set up student account to track progress. – provides some free content on phonics aimed at early grade levels, with expanded content available for a subscription. Starfall classic, free app is available. – provides many resources for free on PC only. Premium subscription removes ads and allows mobile play. app is available – teacher made resources, whack-a-mole, random wheel, and more! – some free online games for reading.

Too many people struggle with learning to read. Low literacy levels often lead to limited opportunities for employment, according to literacy statistics at Phonics Facts. Make a difference by sharing the resources at Phonics Pow to help others teach reading.