g before e will often soft be

The letter g often (but not always) has the soft sound of /j/ before an e. 

A large stāgecoach plunged over the brĭdge.

The g in words that end in -ge or -dge is often soft. Silent e makes the vowel long in words like “pāge,” but Defender d can stop the vowel from being long in “ĕdge” and more words.

GbeforeE

Play a wordsearch game with words that are long or short and the g is soft.

hinge

Some words that end with -nge also have a soft g. Many have a short vowel, except: range, change, and strange, & sponge and orange with the schwa sound. A couple more words with a soft g are bilge and bulge.

GbeforeEother

power-cable-us-md

In some words with a Bossy R vowel followed by ge like “charge,” the g is also soft.

GbeforeEBossyR

Play a wordsearch game with these words. 

GEwords

G also has the soft /j/ sound in some words that begin with ge: gem, gel, gentle, gerbil, geography. But there are quite a few exceptions to this guideline in words that begin with ge, and some have the hard /g/ sound: get, gecko, gear, geek, geese.

G before e will often soft /j/ be is introduced as one of the ways that Silent e can vary in the Phonics Pow Toolkit with worksheets, a boardgame, and spot & dot sentences. Hard or soft c and g are one of the ways that consonants can vary.

Catch the Pitch: spelling the final /ch/ sound

Catch a pitch or scratch an itch, the tch is not a glitch! Pinch an inch or catch a pitch, how to know which is which? The /ch/ consonant digraph sound is often spelled -tch immediately after a short vowel in one syllable words. As you might expect, there are some exceptions: such, much, rich, and which.

Eat a peach for lunch on a bench and you may have a hunch: after a consonant or vowel combinations it changes a bunch.

bench

The /ch/ sound is NOT spelled -tch when it comes after a consonant, as in branch, clinch, munch or stench.

wrench artwork copyrighted by Mark A. Hicks, illustrator, http://www.MARKiX.net.

It is just ch with mulch or a wrench, also with a bossy r on a porch.

beach

The /ch/ sound is NOT spelled -tch when it comes after diphthongs and vowel teams: pouch, pooch, coach, or reach. If you sit on a couch or lay on a beach, the ch spelling will be found in each.

Now -ch or -tch spelling will be a cinch to teach!

pouch

This guideline is learned after learning about consonant digraphs (IV.a)

Play an online wordsearch with words that end in -tch.

Practice words with a set of free word sort games for the Phonics Pow Toolkit that include -ch or -tch words. The Catch the Pitch set includes a word list, worksheet, and a board game. Find it at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

 

Voiced and Unvoiced Consonants

Some consonants are voiced; they are formed with vibration in the vocal chords, and no push of air. Voiced consonants are: /b/ /d/ /g/ /j/ /l/ /m/ /n/ /r/ /v/ /w/ /y/ and /z/. All vowels are voiced too.

Some consonants are unvoiced; they make no vibration in the vocal chords, but there is a push of air. Unvoiced consonants are: /f/ /h/ /k/ /p/ /s/ /t/ /x/ /qu/ and digraphs /ch/ /sh/. The digraph /th/ can be voiced as in “that” or unvoiced as in “thing.”

Some word pairs compare voiced and unvoiced consonants (at the beginning) that are made with the same mouth placement of tongue, lips, and teeth. Try putting a hand on the throat to feel the difference while saying these words: bat/pat, dip/tip, gab/cab, van/fan, zip/sip, and jug/chug.

Also try these that are not made with the same mouth placement, but one word begins with a voiced consonant and the other is unvoiced: jog/hog, lit/kit, mat/hat, nut/hut, and rat/pat.

It is easier to learn consonants that are voiced, but understanding the difference becomes especially important in the following two instances.

The letter s can make different sounds, depending on whether it follows a voiced or unvoiced consonant. After an unvoiced consonant, often s = /s/. After a voiced consonant, often s = /z/.

The suffix -ed can make different sounds, depending on whether it follows a voiced or unvoiced consonant. After a voiced consonant, it often makes the sound of /d/ as in “jailed.” After an unvoiced consonant, it often makes the sound of /t/ as in “walked.” A third sound, /id/ is made after the voiced consonant d as in “needed” and the unvoiced consonant t as in “wanted.”

Can you hear the three different sounds made by the suffix -ed in the following sentence?

The sheriff needed his gun. He jailed the wanted man and then he walked home.

A set of resources for with handouts and worksheets for voiced and unvoiced consonants is available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Learn more about the Phonics Pow Toolkit, how to get free word sort games and more free resources.

Smooth Beach

After learning about Consonant Digraphs with short vowels at the end of the SOUND OUT WORDS section (II.c), and about Diphthongs (III.c) and Vowel Teams (III.d), it is time to learn about words that combine these patterns! Words like…

SMOOTH BEACH!

Download a free set of activities that includes a worksheet, a word search, and a word sort. The words can be sorted two ways: by digraphs or by diphthongs/vowel teams. The SMOOTH BEACH freebie is available to download at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers. Also available is a free wordlist and set of bookmarks with consonant digraphs and vowel patterns.

Play the Smooth Beach wordsearch online.

Learn more about Word Sorts and get the free set of word sort games for the Phonics Pow Toolkit.

Fall For Phonics: the sound of /f/

The sound of /f/ can be spelled different ways. This is one of the ways that consonants can vary. The sound of /f/ can be spelled many ways indeed, more than three! In the following sentence, how many ways do you see?

The dolphin swam fast in the rough sea by the cliff

(f as in fast, ff as in cliff, ph as in dolphin, and gh as in rough.) The word fall belongs to the special flossy word family -all, where the letter a makes the sound of a short o before double letters -ll. In the word phonics, the ph makes the sound of /f/.

WATCH the Kids vs Phonics Video (2:47) & Jack Hartmann Video (2:16)

GH can also be /g/ when you see a ghost all in white, or no sound at all when you see the light. Learn more at A ghost with a slight cough gave a great fright.

How many times do you hear the sound of /f/ in this poem about fall?

The Fall for Phonics freebie that includes the poem, a word list, and worksheet for F variations is available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Learn more about the Phonics Pow Toolkit, how to get free word sort games and more free resources.

Chase the Sheep

After learning about Consonant Digraphs with short vowels at the end of the SOUND OUT WORDS section (II.c), and about Silent e (III.a), it is time to learn about words that have BOTH! Words like…

CHASE THE SHEEP!

This free set of activities includes a worksheet, a word search, and a word sort. The words can be sorted two ways: by digraphs or by the Bossy R vowel. The CHASE THE SHEEP freebie is available to download at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers. Also available is a free wordlist and set of bookmarks with consonant digraphs and vowel patterns.

Play the Chase the Sheep wordsearch online.

Learn more about Word Sorts and get the free set of word sort games for the Phonics Pow Toolkit.

A Ghost with a Slight Cough Gave a Great Fright: Sounds of GH

The letters GH are enough /f/ to make you sigh (silent), aren’t they just ghastly /g/?

  1. GH sounds like /f/ when you laugh, but you must be brave…
  2. because GH sounds like /g/ in a ghoul from the grave.
  3. One more to see, and then you have three: GH might be silent in these:

When bats are in silent flight in the dark of the night, the sight can give you quite a slight fright.

These letters make no sound at all when it is bright, like a vampire that caught sight of the light.

a ghost /g/ with a slight (silent) cough /f/ gave a great fright (silent)

WATCH the Kids vs Phonics Video (1:23)

A word list and worksheet for GH variations is available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Learn more about the Phonics Pow Toolkit, how to get free word sort games and more free resources.

The /k/ Sound at the end of words

The /k/ sound at the end of a one syllable word with a short vowel is often spelled CK. This is one of the consonants that vary. (IV.c)

When the K sound is heard at the end of a word:

CKending

A CK is often needed after a vowel that is short. The K needs help to make it work. This is a short vowel variation that can be covered at the end of the SOUND OUT WORDS section (II.c) of the Phonics Pow Toolkit. CK is a consonant digraph (two letters that make one sound), in this case the familiar sound of /k/. Other consonant digraphs make new sounds.

CKDuck

The duck said “quack” on the deck near the slick dock.

CKspot&dot

PLAY a wordsearch puzzle with words that end in ck.

The rest of the time, a k often is fine.

milk_carton

With a consonant between it is a new task, it takes just a k so remember to ask. Drink milk, dunk a basket, or honk at an elk: the consonant means there is only a k. Artwork copyrighted by Mark A. Hicks, illustrator, www.MARKiX.net. Used with permission.

In words with bossy r, and vowel teams that are long or diphthongs, a k by itself will park. (The beak of a hawk, a look at a book, a weak croak from a throat, a stork with a fork, a dog that will bark.)

Don’t panic, but there’s one more thing to see. Some two syllable words with a short i only need c. (like a picnic in the attic, it’s a little like magic.)

WATCH videos and play a game at the Consonants That Vary Wakelet tutorial.

Learn how to get a free set of word sort games that includes words that end with the sound of /k/. A set of anchor charts, a worksheet, and a game for the /k/ sound at the beginning and end of words is available at Teachers Pay Teachers. The Consonant Variations soccer sort game includes the ending sound of /k/, plus hard or soft c and g. Learn more about spelling the K sound from thisreadingmama.

Sounds of S

The letter S the sound of /s/ makes when you see snakes. Hear the sound of /z/ when your nose smells a rose. Letter s is one of the consonants that vary.

s = /s/ at the beginning of words: sand, sell, sip, soft, sun. It is also the sound of /s/ in beginning s blends: scuff, smell, sniff, spill, stop, swim.

s at the end of words can be either /s/ or /z/: cats /s/ and dogs /z/ need baths /s/ with suds /z/. Understanding voiced or unvoiced consonants can help when s comes after a consonant. Consonants that are voiced make a vibration in the throat which can be felt. Consonants that are unvoiced are quieter and no vibration is felt.

After letters made with a hiss or puff of air, the soft sound of /s/ is often there. In these examples s follows unvoiced consonants f, t, k, p, and th: puffs, cups, cats, sacks, paths.

After letters that make the throat buzz, the sound of /z/ is often what s does. In these examples s follows voiced consonants b, d, g, v, l, m, n, r: jobs, nods, dogs, stoves, files, rooms, pens, stars.

After vowels, sometimes s = /s/

The -ss ending flossy words above have the sound of /s/.

More words with the /s/ sound after a vowel: Fill this bus with gas.

After vowels, sometimes s = /z/

Here are some words where s = /z/ after a vowel: It is easy for boys to choose toys.

When a plural -es is added to words that end with  -sh, -ch, /s/, -x, /z/, and /j/, the sound is /iz/ like in dishes, matches, classes, faces, horses, boxes, buzzes and judges.

When you sure like sugar and tissue, you hear that s can also = /sh/.

WATCH the Phonics Focus video on the sounds of s at Youtube. (5:04)

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at the Consonants That Vary tutorial at Wakelet. Some online games require flash, which is no longer supported after 12/31/2020. Learn more at The End of Flash.

Letter S is covered in Consonants that vary (IV.c) in the Phonics Pow Toolkit with a worksheet and gameboard. Learn how to get a free set of word sort games that includes the two sounds of s. A free word sort game for the letter S is available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

The /k/ Sound at the beginning of words

The /k/ sound at the beginning of words can be spelled with a c or a k. This is one of the consonants that can vary. This can be introduced with words that have a short vowel, adding more advanced vowel patterns as they are learned.

K takes i and e, and C takes the other three.

KorCBoth

Some words with short vowels can begin with the /k/ sound. The kid kept the kiss. What can the cost of a cup of tea be?

Some words with more advanced vowel patterns can begin with the /k/ sound. Keep the kite. The cook baked a cute cake.

Available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers: A worksheet for the sound of /k/ at the beginning of words with anchor charts and word lists. Or the free anchor charts and word lists. A worksheet and game board are included in the Phonics Pow Toolkit. (IV.c) Learn how to get the free word sort games that include the /k/ sound.