Tricky Y

The letter y is tricky indeed. It can make many sounds, more than three!

Yes, y is a consonant in yellow and yolk.

Sometimes y makes a short i sound like in system and gym.

A y at the end can a vowel be, with the sound of a long i or e. How do you know which you see? At the end of one syllable words, y often says “i” like in fly. With more syllables, it is often a long e.

There are some exceptions, like the one syllable word “key” with the long e sound. (Hey! No Way! -ey can sound like a long a in some words like grey, and the vowel team -ay a long a will say.) You can’t deny y is long i in two syllable words like: July, supply, reply, rely, and apply. Some two syllable words go in the long i pile like typist and style.

WATCH videos and PLAY online games about Tricky y at the Vowels That Vary Wakelet tutorial.

Download a free handout on Tricky Y, and get a Y flower sort game.

Practice Tricky Y with a story and word sort at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

Consonants That Vary

When the same letters make more than one sound, or one sound can be made with more than one letter, you really know that English is Weird.

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at the Consonants That Vary tutorial at Wakelet. Note that many online games require flash and may not work well on mobile devices. Downloading the Mozilla Firefox browser can be helpful.

CONSONANTS

The letters C and G can make hard or soft sounds.

C is often hard before A, O & U. With the others, a soft C will do.

G is often hard before A, O & U. With the others, a soft G will often do.

(But this is not always true, which you know if you get a gift given to you!)

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

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

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

A CK is often needed after a vowel that is short. The K needs help to make it work.

KorCK

PLAY PRINTABLES Consonant Variations Soccer Sort Games include Hard and Soft C and G, and K or CK ending, available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Two Sounds of S: letter S can also make more than one sound. S can say snake, probably everyone knows. It can also say /z/ when a nose smells a rose. A free word sort game for the letter S is available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

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 by in the rough sea by the cliff. (f as in fast, ff as in cliff, ph as in dolphin, and gh as in rough.)

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

These guidelines may help you to figure out the many sounds you will discover all about.

Learn more about word sort games for the Phonics Pow Toolkit.

Consonant Digraphs

digraphs2

Digraphs are a pair of letters representing one sound. The consonant digraphs that make new sounds are CH, SH, TH, WH + NG.

Consonant Digraphs may be introduced after learning about Blends, using words with short vowels. Many words with consonant digraphs have more advanced vowel patterns, which can be introduced as the patterns are learned. Download a free Consonant Digraph Word List with Bookmarks at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers. Practice words with short vowels and a consonant digraph with an online wordsearch.

WATCH videos and play online games at the Consonant Digraph tutorial at Wakelet. WATCH  more videos from Kids vs Phonics: CH (1:38) SH (1:28) TH (1:53) TH-Hard (1:42) WH (1:34) & NG (2:02). PLAY more online games from Literactive:  Whale gameCrab Catcher game, NG: Hula Pool & Gopher game.

Please note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Mozilla Firefox browser.

LISTEN and play Digraphs at Quizlet

NG as in Sing

Elvis Presley was known as the King of Rock & Roll. He liked to wear rings when he sang. His longest song was “Suspicious Minds” (7:14) On Nov. 1, 1969, it reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100.

TH can be voiceless or voiced

In some words, the th makes a vibration or voiced sound. At the beginning of words: this, that, them, than, then. In the middle of words: father, mother, brother. At the end of some verbs: smooth, bathe, breathe.

In other words, the th is a quieter or voiceless sound. At the beginning of words: thin, thick, thud, thumb. Or at the end of words: bath, math, with, cloth. In the middle of some words: ethics, method, lethal.

READ the Pattern – Digraph Sentences from stickyball.net. READ Books: by author Brian Cleary: “Whose Shoes Would You Choose?” “The Thing on the Wing Can Sing” and “Spring in the Kingdom of Ying”

RollReadKeep

PLAY Roll, Read, & Keep -free at Teachers Pay Teachers. Mix BAM & SWIPE cards in with consonant digraph flashcards from bogglesworldesl.com.

More consonant digraph resources:

PLAY a Printable Game from the Measured Mom, a Digraph Picture Sort from Thisreadingmama, a word sort game for NG from Science Is For Kids, an H Brothers Poster from thewisenest.

A Digraph Word Sort and story and Bossy R and Consonant Digraph Soccer Sort Game are also available at the Super Tutor Tools Store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Consonant Digraphs with familiar sounds

  • CK = /k/ at the end of one syllable words with short vowels like duck.
  • PH = /f/ in some words like phone. Learn more at Fall for Phonics.
  • GH can vary. GH = /f/ as in laugh, or /g/ as in ghost. Sometimes the letters GH are silent as in light. The letters GH are enough /f/ to make you sigh (silent), aren’t they just ghastly /g/? Learn more at a Ghost With a Slight Cough Gave a Great Fright.

-tch ending

The /ch/ sound immediately after a short vowel in a one syllable word is often spelled with -tch. Learn more at Catch the Pitch.

Some words have both a Silent e vowel and consonant digraphs. Practice these with activities at Chase the Sheep. Some words have both a Bossy R vowel and consonant digraphs. Practice these with activities at Shark Chart. Some words have both a vowel combination (diphthong or vowel team) and consonant digraphs. Practice these with activities at Smooth Beach.

Blends

Two (or more) consonants may blend together with each sound heard in the blend.

Blends are often introduced after learning about short vowels, so it’s a good idea to begin practicing with blends that have short vowels. Blends with other vowel patterns can be included after they have been learned. Blending the sounds of letters from left to right is an important skill for beginning readers. As other vowel patterns are introduced, scan for phonics patterns in words to decode them.

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at the Consonant Blends tutorial at Wakelet

LISTEN & LEARN Blends at Quizlet

Blends picture sorts from flyingintolearning.com. (More Blends picture sorts from fairypoppins for playdoughtoplato.com and color picture cards from testyyettrying)

Sort onto a B&W blends chart from thisreadingmama (or color blends chart from maketaketeach), S blends ice cream activity at kizclub.com

Blends flip books with pictures and words from phonics-teaching.com

READ Blend sentences at stickyball.net

PLAY Printable Letter Blends puzzle from Learning 4 Kids (11 pages, some color), Go Fish blends game from Adrian Bruce

Great Green Grapes Blend Board Game at TeachersPayTeachers

PLAY more online games:

Blending: word-machines short vowels at starfall. Short vowels at kizphonics. ladybugs at literactive.

Blends: Literactive: Warehouse gameBowling gameSorting Office, and Final Blends Honey Maze.