If This Spells “Dead” How Can You Spell “Head?”

Manipulating sounds in words can be a very difficult task for students who just can’t figure out how the individual sounds go together to make words, and how they can come apart.

This is the 5th week in my Phonological Awareness skills series.  The posts ran through the 4 weeks of January, and ran over this week.  The last skill is manipulating sounds in words; that is, adding or substituting sound to make different words.

We start this task early on in a simple way when we teach word families, and making new words by simply changing the onset sound: cat -> mat -> hat -> bat -> rat -> pat -> sat -> fat.   It becomes more difficult when the sounds are in the middle or end of the word; particularly when we change vowels.

This manipulating of sounds was the basis for the app SoundSwaps, which I developed a few years ago.  It also became the basis for my Swapping Sounds task cards.  If you’d like to check out the cards, here is a free sample in my TPT store.

If you’d like to check out the app.  You can get it on the iTunes store here.

What is your favorite sound manipulation task?  Share it with us.


  1. Such helpful ideas for teaching reading and so important.

  2. I believe SLPs and teachers need to work together to help kids who struggle with reading.

  3. Such difficult concepts to teach; how great you have an app to help!!

  4. It's a simple but fun app - SoundSwaps - but kids I've worked with have found the practice helpful. Thank you.

  5. I totally agree, Susan! SLPs and teachers make a powerful team.