Domino Phonics

Domino Phonics lesson plan

Long vowels. Short vowels. Digraphs. Figuring out phonics can be fun with these dominoes and a classmate or two.

  • 1.

    While investigating vowel sounds, digraphs, and other phonetic studies, students will be creating phonics "bones" to use in playing a matching game. The game can be played as a culminating activity or as various sounds are learned.

  • 2.

    Collect clean, recycled foam produce trays. Be certain these are large enough for students to write their words and sounds on the cut out "bones".

  • 3.

    To create the "bones" for the matching game, provide students with a template to sketch their rectangles and sufficient trays to cut out 20 or more rectangles. Students can cut out their rectangles using Crayola® Scissors.

  • 4.

    Students use Crayola Gel Markers to fill in their bones. Begin this process by dividing each rectangle in half. Children write a long vowel sound such as "ee, oa, ai, y, i-e, ea, oo, ay, or igh" on one side of each rectangle. On the other half of the "bone" students write a word that they are certain contains the sound they have named.

  • 5.

    It is time to play! Working in teams of two or small groups, students shuffle each pile of bones and place them face down in piles. Each student selects five bones from each pile. The first player lays down a tile. The next player adds a matching word or corresponding vowel sound. If a player does not have a match, he picks tiles from the remaining pile until he is able to add one.

  • 6.

    When all the tiles are used, the game is over!


  • LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • LA: Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • LA: Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.


  • Possible classroom resources include: The Nice Mice in the Rice: A Long Vowel Sounds Book (Sounds Like Reading) by Brian P. Cleary; Stop, Drop, and Flop in the Slop (Sounds Like Reading) by Brian P. Cleary; The Bug in the Jug Wants a Hug: A Short Vowel Sounds Book (Sounds Like Reading) by Brian P. Cleary; Whose Shoes Would You Choose? (Sounds Like Reading) by Brian P. Cleary
  • Organize student playing pieces to address identified needs of your class.
  • Adapt the "bones" to reinforce spelling act ivies for your class.