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Picture Labeling: 6 Free Worksheets

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Picture labeling is an excellent activity to use with young writers learning to spell. Get 6 FREE label-the-picture worksheets that follow Science of Reading procedures. Kids will have a blast while they tap the sounds, map the letters, spell and read the words, and then color the pictures!

Image with title "Picture Labeling 6 Free Worksheets - SOR aligned" with sample worksheet and pencil.
Download 6 FREE Picture Label worksheets at the bottom of this post!

💗 Why We Love It

Labeling pictures is the perfect activity to use with young children as they begin to learn about spelling

Label-the-picture worksheets are great for practicing:

The worksheets follow a speech-to-print format. This forces childen to attend to every sound they hear in the word, matching phonemes to graphemes and orthographically mapping words.

Each worksheet is organized by short vowels and includes 6 pictures, sound boxes, and a rewrite line.

The worksheets also help kids develop their vocabulary, analyze beginning, middle, and ending sounds, and activate higher-level thinking skills. And they are great to reinforce those tricky vowel sounds!

The printed label the picture worksheet on a blue desk with crayons and pencil.

Label the Picture Worksheets

Each worksheet includes the following pictures for CVC words and short vowel practice:

  • Short A: bag, rat, sad, hat, bat, map.
  • Short E: hen, leg, pen, net, web, ten.
  • Short I: mix, bib, six, fin, zip, pig.
  • Short O: mop, box, cop, pop, log, fox.
  • Short U: nut, bud, gum, bun, cut, bus.
  • All Short Vowels: bed, cup, cap, pin, pad, pot.

Depending on the needs of your students, you may want to review the pictures on the worksheet before beginning.

Or, you can challenge kids and see if they can determine what the picture is, attending to the vowel sound they hear in the word.

👉 Example: They see an image of a mouse, but the word mouse doesn’t have a short /a/ sound, what is the picture? It must be a rat! 🐁

Spelling Procedure

Students should follow this basic research-backed procedure:

  1. Look at the picture and say the word ➡️ “hog.”
  2. Tap and say the sounds they hear ➡️ /h/ /o/ /g/.
  3. Use the sound boxes to write the graphemes, saying the sounds as they write the letters ➡️ /h/ /o/ /g/.
  4. Rewrite the entire word, saying the letter names  ➡️ h – o – g.
  5. Read the word quickly ➡️ hog.

After they’re done, they can color the pictures and practice rereading the words.

👌 Following this Simultaneous Oral Spelling procedure will ensure that kids have a multi-sensory experience. It will also help them gain confidence as young writers.

We recommend The Gillingham Manual to learn more about this procedure.

Pink graphic entitled "Word Ladders with Sound Boxes" showing the word ladder worksheets.

🪜Looking for a no-prep way to bridge your phonological awareness and phonics instruction? Check out our popular Word Ladder Resource for tons of phonics skills!

Expert Tips & Info

Use in a variety of ways: The worksheets work for small group instruction, for independent work, and as targeted homework practice. Determine which worksheet to use based on the needs of your students. They can provide focused reinforcement of the vowel sounds kids are struggling with.

Educational focus: These worksheets are designed for kindergarten and first grade students. They’re perfect for kids who have learned their letters and sounds and have had explicit teaching in segmenting (breaking apart the sounds they hear in words).

Extend the activity: Have children use the words in simple sentences to build vocabulary. For example: “A hog is a big pig.” Kids can do this in two ways. First, they can generate sentences orally with a partner. Next, they can flip over their paper to use the words in sentences, checking for capitalization, punctuation, spacing, and spelling.

Additional Support: If kids are struggling with sounds or articulation, provide support with a sound wall. To read more about this and get free options, visit our post all about Sound Walls!

If your students are struggling with segmenting sounds, provide them with additional support in phonological awareness activities (and check out our free PA Name Game). We suggest Kilpatrick’s One Minute Drills found in Equipped for Reading Success.

Purple background with title "Labeling Pictures" and sample complete worksheet with a pencil.

🖨️ Download & Print

Label A Picture - Short A

Label A Picture - Short A

28.00 KB 2555 Downloads
Label a Picture - Short E

Label a Picture - Short E

0.00 KB 2172 Downloads
Label A Picture - Short I

Label A Picture - Short I

0.00 KB 2155 Downloads
Label a Picture - Short O

Label a Picture - Short O

0.00 KB 1777 Downloads
Label A Picture - Short U

Label A Picture - Short U

0.00 KB 1868 Downloads

DOWNLOAD TERMS: All of our resources and printables are designed for personal use only in homes and classrooms. Each teacher must download his or her own copy. To share with others, please use the social share links provided or distribute the link to the blog post so others can download their own copies. Please do not save our files to a shared drive, reproduce our resources on the web, or make photocopies for anyone besides your own students. Your support in this allows us to keep making free resources for everyone! Please see our Creative Credits page for information about the licensed clipart we use. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our terms, please email us. Thank you!


  1. I am a literacy tutor, I use these with my low first grade group, and later in the year with my kindergarteners. They enjoy it, and it reinforces they need to tap the sounds, then write the word.

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