Guess The Word

Instructional Practice
Phonemic Awareness
Tier II
  • picture cards
Target Student

Students who have difficulty identifying individual sounds in words.


Guess the Word is an instructional practice activity that utilizes sound stretching or “snail talk” to assist students in discriminating the individual sounds in words.


Guess the Word is an instructional practice. Instructional Practices are teaching interactions that guide interactions in the classroom.

How To

Before beginning, find or create a stack of cards with pictures that represent simple CVC words. If you do not already have such cards, you can create your own using pictures from the Internet and pasting them on cards. You’ll want to have a large stack of cards so you can vary them each time you do the activity.

Have students sit in a circle and spread out the picture cards in the middle so all are visible.

Say, “I am going to say the name of one of the pictures in “snail talk.” Look at the pictures and guess which I am saying.

Say, “Listen. (BBAAATTT). What picture am I saying?

At first, have students respond as a group.

Ask individual students after the group has responded several times.

When you are finished, you can monitor progress with phoneme segmentation fluency.

Adapted from RTI in the Classroom: Guidelines and Recipes for Success (2009)


Chard, D. J., & Dickson, S. V. (1999). Phonological awareness instructional and assessment guidelines. Intervention in School and Clinic, 34(5), 261-270.

Related Resources

Brown-Chidsey, R., Bronaugh, L., & McGraw, K. (2009). RTI in the classroom: Guidelines and recipes for success. New York: Guilford Press.

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