Embedded Picture Mnemonic desk mats


Help beginning readers remember basic sound-letter relationships and learn there are more sounds than letters with these cute, double-sided, printable desk mats.

On one side, each letter of the alphabet contains a picture starting with that sound (or ending, in the case of letter x/box). On the flip side is a common spelling for each additional vowel sound, again formed from a picture of something containing that sound.

There are three versions, to suit different accents and preferences. Just save and print whichever A4 pdfs suit you best.



These download-and-print double-sided desk mats are designed to help beginning and struggling readers learn basic sound-letter relationships, understand that there are more speech sounds than letters, and learn a common spelling for each additional sound.

On one side, letters of the alphabet are formed from pictures starting with the relevant sound (or ending, in the case of x/box). On the flip side is a common spelling for each additional speech sound, again in the form of a picture of something containing that sound, for example ch/cheese and ur/burn.

There are three slightly different versions, which as of 19/5/23 include the new a/ape, e/evil, i/ice, o/ocean, u/unicorn, y/yawn and g/goose mnemonics:

  • A version for UK, NZ and other non-rhotic English speakers, which many Australians will also prefer. It has e/egg, k/key, o/orange, u/up,  ur/burn, air/hair and ear/gears (pictured above).
  • A version for US, Canadian and other speakers of rhotic accents, with e/echo, k/key, o/octopus, u/up, wh/whale, ur/burn and aw/claw, but no air/hair or ear/gears.
  • An Aussie version with e/egg, k/kangaroo, o/orange, u/undies, (yes, undies are back, by popular demand), ur/surf, air/hair and ear/gears.

Each desk mat is a two-page A4 pdf, which you save to your computer, print double-sided in colour and laminate before use. The price assumes each purchaser will use these desk mats with their own class/caseload, and may reprint lost/damaged desk mats.

In case the three versions above aren’t entirely suited to your accent or preferences, you can find all the mnemonics from previous versions as well as those listed above in the picture files. Use them to make your own desk mats and/or other teaching materials.