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Speech d l s sh auditory discrimination of s d sh and l  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


To hear the difference between 's', 'd', 'sh' and 'l' in all positions in a word.

Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Bean bowls

3-4 bowls

Beans (or anything else to throw into the bowls)

Cards with 's' 'd' 'sh' and 'l' written on one each.

Pictures of things starting with each sound (3 or 4 pictures)

1. Put a card in each bowl. Give the child some beans and keep some yourself.

2. Explain that the child needs to listen to the word you say and decide which sound that word starts with. He should put / throw his bean into the bowl with that sound in it.

3. Have a chart with the sounds on it, which you can tick as you say the word.

4. When he has thrown the bean into a bowl, show him the picture and your chart, and have him check if he heard the sound accurately.

5. If he has the same number of beans in the bowl as you have ticks on your chart, he wins.

You could have a set of bowls instead of a chart. You would put a bean into the right bowl as you say the word, but do not let the child see!

When the child can hear the difference between the sounds at the start of words, move on to hearing the difference between words with the target sounds in the middle or at the end.

For possible words see: PA AR word lists for sound work in additional resources for phonology and articulation on (You can get to either of these links from your computer by pressing control and clicking on the link at the same time).

Lotto game

Lotto boards (6-8 spaces to a board) with a sound written in each space.

Picture cards with pictures whose names begin with or contain each of the sounds on the lotto boards (have enough picture cards to be able to match with all the sounds on the lotto cards).

For possible words see: PA AR word lists for sound work in additional resources for phonology and articulation on


A set of skittles and a ball

Pictures used in previous activities

Target sounds written out on separate pieces of paper

Blutac/ sticky tape

When the child hits a skittle, it is important that they listen to you say the word.


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