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/.
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.
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.
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.
K takes i and e, and C takes the other three.
Some words with short vowels can begin with the /k/ sound.
Some words with more advanced vowel patterns can begin with the /k/ sound.
Introduce these words as the patterns are learned.
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.
The letters C and G can make hard or soft sounds.
C is often hard /k/ before A, O & U. With the others, a soft C /s/ will do.
The words in the word families of -ace and -ice have the soft C sound. C before e will often soft be. These are Silent e words.
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!)
Words that end in -ge or -dge have the soft G sound of /j/. G before e will often soft be. Defender d can stop the vowel from being long in some Silent e words.
Sight words with:
- Hard c /k/: can, came, car, cut
- Soft c /s/: face, place, space, sentence
- Hard g: go, got, big, give
- Soft g /j/: large, page, change
Keyword sentence: I got a large change when I came to this place.
There are some words with short vowels that have a hard or soft c and g, but many more have advanced vowel patterns. Because of this, hard or soft c and g (IV.b) are introduced after learning about Defender d at the end of the Silent e section in the Phonics Pow Toolkit. (III.a) Download worksheets or the free anchor charts with word lists for hard or soft c and g at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers. The Consonant Variations soccer sort game includes hard or soft c and g, plus the ending sound of /k/.
WATCH videos and PLAY games about hard or soft C and G at the Wakelet tutorial on Consonants that vary.
To know all of the ways that vowels can be long, learn about:
- Silent e
- Vowel Teams
- Tricky y
- Open syllables
- i and o can sometimes be long when followed by two consonants
IGH is a trigraph – one sound is made with three letters. The gh is silent and the i is long. The sound of IGH is included with vowel teams in the Phonics Pow Toolkit, as the other vowels have teams that make the long sound, but i only has the trigraph IGH. Learn more about the vowel trigraphs AIR and EAR at Bossy R variations. WATCH videos on igh from Little Learners and Kids vs. Phonics, and try a long i wordsearch.
- ā – ai & ay
- ē – ea & ee
- ī – igh
- ō – oa & ow
- ū – ui & ew
Can you identify all the long vowel patterns in the sentences below?
LONG I: The pilot tried to fly kind of high for a mile.
More sentences with long vowel patterns:
LONG A: They say the lady will take the train today at eight.
LONG E: We even like these crazy sheep that bleat.
LONG O: Put a coat on to go home in the cold snow.
LONG U: The cool jewel on her blue suit was super huge.
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.
Practice Tricky Y with a story and word sort at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
I was inspired by Shark Week to put together 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 the Bossy R vowel. The SHARK CHART 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 Shark Chart word search online.
This set of word sort games designed to go along with the Phonics Pow Toolkit is available as a free download. (link below) Word sorts are a tool for teaching reading skills that have been shown to be effective. We’ve got you covered! Print on cardstock, cut out, store in zip-lock bags, and play while learning.
Fill the phonogram card with one word card of each pattern for a quick game (player who fills card first wins), or use all the word cards for a longer game (player with the most word cards wins). Mix skip (the turn is skipped if drawn) and swipe (player can take a word card from the other player) cards in with word cards to add fun. POW!
Learn skills for reading with the following ideas. These tips include some of my favorite free online resources.
Download the 10 Steps to Reading (pdf)
3. Learn phonics patterns in a sensible sequence as the student is ready. Try the phonics presentations at ReadingBear.org and watch fun videos that cover many phonics patterns with Kids vs Phonics from RedCatReading.
4. Practice patterns with picture and word sorts.
5. Play games that encourage literacy. Hands on games include traditional games like Boggle and Bananagrams, as well as many free printable games that can be found through links on specific phonics skills. Free online games are also available at this Symbaloo. Some online games require flash, which is no longer supported after 12/31/2020. Learn more at The End of Flash.
7. Learn sight words. Many high frequency words are not decodable with phonics guidelines.
9. Use your library. Attend storytimes, participate in summer reading programs, check out books & online resources. Choose fun books at the right level.