Beginning, Middle and End sounds

What is it?
This is the skill of dividing a CVC word into three parts: Beginning, middle and end sounds. To be able to do this, the child should be aware of the Blending and segmenting skills.

We use this technique of identifying three consecutive sounds of a word. It helps the child to locate a sound in a word and hence helps them in writing.

How do we start about?
We always start with simple C-V-C words i.e. Consonant- Vowel- Consonant words.

C-V-C words can be denoted by actions done by a teacher on his/her arm. For example, /d/ /o/ /g/- dog will be represented by pointing out to shoulder /d/, arm /o/ and palm /g/. Pointing out sounds to body parts helps children to break a word and see each sound as a separate entity.Capture

  • Once the learners are familiar with this method, give them a CVC word. Let’s take the example, /pig/. Ask them to sound it out as /p/ /i/ /g/. Now tell them that they have to sound it out using their shoulder-arm-palm. Point out to your shoulder for the sound /p/ (learners follow the instruction), your arm for the sound /i/ and palm for the sound /g/. /p/ /i/ /g/ pig.
    Make sure all the learners are doing the actions while uttering the sounds. 


  1. Cube it!
    Cube it is a game that can be played with learners individually or in smaller groups.  The game requires small plastic or wooden blocks on which letter symbols are written on every face.

How to play Cube it?

  • Put all the cubes on the floor or in a box with a wide mouth. Now instruct the learners to stand close to the box and listen to the teacher attentively.
  • The teacher will utter a CVC word which should be heard accurately by the learners. Let us demonstrate using an example, /cat/.
  • The learners will hear the word /cat/ and then say individual sounds point out their index finger to the parts of their hand. /c/ at the shoulder, /a/ at the arm and /t/ at the palm.
  • Now they have to pick the appropriate blocks and arrange them on the floor to make the complete word, /cat/. Emphasize on saying the words and individual sounds loudly for practice.
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2. Doggie! Where’s my Bone? : This is a very simple game where learners have to identify the position in which the sound is placed. 

How to play Doggie! Where’s my Bone?

  •  The teacher has to utter a CVC word, for example, /bug/ and ask the learners to segment it.
  • Now, ask them to place the bone on the head, body or tail depending on the position of the sound in the word. “Where is /b/ in the word bug? Where will you keep the bone?” The learners will place the bone on the doggie’s head. “Very good! Now can you tell me where the sound /g/ is?”
  • You can repeat this game for several words. Make sure you allow the students segment the sounds in the word before positioning the bone. Emphasize on accurate utterances. 
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3. Guess a word

Guess a word is a game that requires around ten different pictures of objects with CVC words. The words that you can add to the list are- mug, cat, pen, dog, pig, man, car, rat, etc. make sure these words are solid nouns which are objects and not action sounds or verbs.

How to play guess a word?

  • Guess a word can be played by getting all the learners on the floor and drawing a big circle on the floor.
  • Now place all the pictures facing the floor and tell them that they are all secrets which will be revealed very soon only if the class participates.
  • Ask one learner to pick any one image and see it, but without disclosing it to the other classmates.
  • Now he/she has to sound out the beginning sound, after which the entire class will repeat the sound pointing out to their shoulder, followed by middle and end sounds.
  • After sounding all the sounds out loud, the class will guess what the word was. Continue the game for the remaining pictures and repeat uttering all sounds by pointing out to the parts of your hand.

4. Where do you hear the…?

This game is for phonological awareness and practice of sounds. The learners need to identify if the uttered sound is at the beginning, middle or end of the word.

How to play this game?

  •  The teacher will require stickers and a list of CVC words. Give each learner a card of stickers. For example, say a word such as /bat/ and ask the students to place a sticker on their shoulder or arm or palm depending on the sound asked.
  • Now ask them the question, “Where do you hear the /b/ sound?” Learners should stick a sticker on their shoulder and say, “I hear the /b/ sound in the beginning.”
  • Ask questions about the middle and ending sounds. Continue with other words. You can be creative and use different shapes and colors for the stickers.
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Home-made games

  • Reach for the Stars You will need some picture cards for this activity. Ask the learners to sit in a circle on the floor. Show them one of the picture cards.  Ask for a volunteer to identify the picture and divide the word into individual phonemes. For example, if the word is /mug/, the learner would say /m/ /u/ /g/ pointing out at shoulder, arm and palm respectively.  Ask another volunteer to tell how many sounds are in the word. Have a third volunteer pick that number of stars from the sky (to do this, the learner jumps and grabs an imaginary star from the sky for each phoneme in the word. Continue the process with different pictures so each learner has an opportunity to reach for the stars.
    You can add a twist in this game by giving the learner actual start stickers that will be available in any general stationery store.
  • Tap to the Sounds: Tap to sounds is an activity where you will require sticks, large paper bag, small objects or toys (e.g. cat, man, pig, pen) ,small paper bags
    In advance, place objects in a bag. Give each learner a pair of sticks. Pull objects out of the bag one at a time. Have learners tap their sticks as they say each sound in the objects’ names. Invite children to collect small objects to place inside their paper bags. Assign partners and have children repeat the activity in pairs. Make sure your learners are uttering the sounds loudly and clearly. They have to do it together as a class.

Online Games:

  • This game is by which is very well elaborated to identify the beginning, middle and end sound in a CVC word. 
  • This game is called Ending Sounds Hopper which is by This phonics game takes care of a lot of CVC words.


In this literacy lesson the students learn how to divide words into sounds using their fingers as a guide.

  • This video is a demonstration for how to break sounds in order to make reading and identification of sounds. 


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