Select Page

Once your student is very comfortable reading consonant-vowel-consonant words (cat, bit, fed, lug, etc.), it is time to introduce your student to initial blends.  Initial blends are the 2 consonant letters at the beginning of a word that each make their own sound. Some examples of initial blends are flag, brim, snip and drop.  On today’s post I am going to share with you a really great initial blends activity that you can make yourself, and it will really help your student practice reading words with initial blends.

Getting Started:

You only need 3 things for this initial blends activity.  

  1. Wood Stick shapes – you can buy these at Michaels or any other craft store.  
  2. Letter Stickers – you can also buy these at Michaels or you can also just use a sharpie and write the letter on the wooden stick.
  3. A white board any size 

How to Make It

Step 1

Put the letter stickers on the wooden sticks.  You can paint them beforehand if you like, and you can also use a sharpie instead of letter stickers.  You can make as many initial blends as you like. Some examples of initial blends are:

bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl, br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr, sc, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw

Step 2

Write a list of initial blend endings on the whiteboard.  You can also create a poster board and laminate it for future use if you like.  See the list below for suggestions:


















Step 3

Your student will simply place their initial blend stick at the beginning of each of the blend endings and create real and nonsense words.  Have your student read the words aloud, as their sticks travel down the board. 

When I use this activity in a group, I have a large basket filled with these sticks and the students can pick out what they want.  You can also use this as a center activity with partners.

If your student isn’t really 100% sure of all the beginning consonant or short vowel sounds, then they might not be too successful with this activity.  To be able to learn blends, your student must be very fluent at reading short vowel cvc words (pot, hut, sit, cat, etc.). If your student doesn’t have this skill yet, you will need to back up and fill in the missing gaps before you teach initial blends. 


If you need a great Orton-Gillingham reading program that is very easy to use, affordable, 100% scripted and used by teachers, tutors and homeschooling parents with great success… make sure you check out The PRIDE Reading Program.

Thank you so much for reading my post today!


Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at or visit the website at

Don't go without signing up for the Weekly Roar! Get the latest posts and helpful information from the PRIDE Reading Program.

Join our list to receive the latest news and updates with The Weekly Roar.

Thanks for signing up for the Weekly Roar. If you would like to learn more about the PRIDE Reading Program, please continue to explore our site, or feel free to contact us at any time.