Sound Identification Tasks & Articulation

I FINALLY finished my coloring activity that can be used whether you are taking the phonological approach, the traditional articulation approach, or maybe a combination of the two during therapy.

In this post, I will review the current research on phonemic and phonological awareness tasks and how they apply to speech therapy, brush up on some lingo, and explain how to best use this type of activity depending on the approach you are taking!

These materials are also a great way to review goals at the start of the school year. Win-win.

Quick Definition Review

We all need to review the basics from time to time!

Phonology & Phonological awareness:

  • Phonology is the study of patterns of sounds in a language.
  • Phonological awareness is being aware and able to complete tasks based on the patterns of sounds in a language (i.e., rhyming, alliteration). This CAN include some phonemic awareness tasks.
  • Phonological processes/patterns are sound error patterns that children frequently use to simplify language as they learn to speak (i.e., final consonant deletion).


  • Phonemes are the smallest units of sounds in a language (i.e., b, ch, d, j, th).
  • Phonemic awareness is understanding and working with the smallest units in a language (i.e., blending, deleting sounds).


  • The smallest units of language (phonemes) are represented by letters (graphemes).


  •  The production of speech sounds.

Quick Therapy Review

Let’s keep reviewing since it is the start of the school year after all!

Who should use a phonological approach?

Student who have:

  • Phonological delay - phonological rules persist (i.e., stopping, final consonant deletion)
  • Highly intelligible child with typical and/or atypical phonological delay

Phonological therapy approach options include:

  • Cycles approach
  • Minimal pairs 
  • Maximal opposition
  • Multiple oppositions
  • Complexity approach

Who should use a more traditional speech therapy approach?

Students who have:

  • motor articulation deficits - difficulty making/planning speech movements (i.e., apraxia/dysarthria)
  • phonetic articulation disorders - difficulty saying a few sounds and/or sound distortions

Some examples traditional speech therapy are:

  • Traditional articulation therapy (Van Riper, 1939)
  • Traditional therapy with principles of motor learning
  • Stimulability approach

I like to use this worksheet to help me sort through which therapy approach to take and clearly share my thought process with caregivers/teachers.

These lists aren’t exhaustive but are a great start!

OKAY, that was a lot of background, but I feel we all need a refresher after summer, right?!

NEW Speech Therapy Materials

For my phonology students, I’ve been wanting materials that: 

  • could be used for multiple clients throughout the day or mixed groups
  • were engaging
  • introduced/reviewed goals

So, I created 72 new worksheets in English & Spanish that do just that!

How to Use Materials for Phonological Awareness

If you use these materials for phonological delays, you are targeting completing sound ID/sound segmentation, which is a higher-level phonological awareness and phonemic awareness skill. It also directly works on auditory discrimination and reviews goals.


  • You or the child names the pictures
  • The child decides where in the word their target sound is located & colors the picture according

Note: I have 2 options for each sound in Spanish and English. 

  1. Picture with word written below. This is for students who need extra support or are working on connecting the grapheme WITH the sound.
  2. Picture WITHOUT the word written below. 

*What you use will depend on the child!

How to Use Materials for Traditional Therapy approaches

Traditional Approach

To use these materials for the traditional speech therapy approach, have the child name the picture at the word, phrase, and/or sentence level before coloring it.

Provide necessary/fading cues to elicit a correct production.

Mixed presentation - Motor speech and/or Phonetic delay WITH phonological needs

I’ll be honest here... I hardly use any therapy approach word for word. Every child presents uniquely with individual needs. Therefore, I commonly combine therapy approaches to best treat a child.

This means that even though a child has a phonetic speech disorder (sound distortion), sometimes they need a boost in phonological awareness skills. OR, sometimes, a child needs to review when they hear a target sound so they increase awareness for when they need to apply their newly learned motor pattern within that word.

For this group, you can use the materials as described above. Honestly, it can’t hurt!

Mixed groups

Sometimes you have a mixed group. Some children have a motor-based speech delay, and some have a phonological delay.

For these groups, this activity is perfect. Simply have the child with the motor speech delay say the word and color according to the worksheet or not. For the child with the phonological delay, use the worksheet as intended.


If you have a child who is working on vocabulary, you can have them complete the coloring tasks (a review of phonological awareness skills never hurt anyone) and then complete the vocabulary tasks.

Some examples would be:

  • Give a definition
  • Name the category the picture fits into
  • Describe the picture
  • etc…

Access New Materials


  • To access your sound identificaiton coloring sheets in English, click here.
  • To access your sound identificaiton coloring sheets in Spanish, click here.


If you would like to access all the materials seen here and 2,830+ more materials, you can join the membership here.

Video Tutorial

Watch a quick, 3 minute tutorial on how to access and use materials here!

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