The /k/ Sound at the end of words

The /k/ sound at the end of a word is one of the consonants that vary. (IV.c)

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. 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.

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

PLAY a wordsearch puzzle with words that end in ck.

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

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.

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.)

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.

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.

I before E is Weird

Eight (ā) thieves (ē) tried (ī) to deceive (ē).

You may have heard this saying: i before e, except after c, and when sounding like a, as in neighbor and weigh. This is a guideline where there are quite a few exceptions: i before e, unless foreign scientist Keith leisurely seizes caffeine from feisty atheists.

Generally speaking, i before e (as in thief and tried)

except after c (as in deceive)

or when sounding like a, as in neighbor or weigh (and eight)

This is just one of the ways that vowels can vary. Practice with the I before E is Weird set of worksheets, available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Hard or Soft C and G

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.

Learn how to get the free word sort games that include hard or soft c and g. Game boards for hard or soft c and g are part of the Phonics Pow Toolkit.

Long Vowel Patterns

To know all of the ways that vowels can be long, learn about:

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.

IGH is included in the Vowel Teams section of the Phonics Pow Toolkit. III.4

  • 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.

Word searches for long e, i, o , & u. Download the free Long Vowel Sentences  anchor chart pdf. Long vowel patterns are included in free word sort games and in the Phonics Pow Toolkit. (III.f)

LongVowelPatterns

This chart with helpful color coding from the Long Vowel Patterns section of the Phonics Pow Toolkit shows some examples.

Oh, Those OUGH Words!

The phonogram OUGH is one of the toughest in the English language, with at least six different pronunciations.

Although (long o) I ate when I was through (ew) ploughing (ow) the garden, the meat I bought (short o) was so tough (short u) it made me cough (short o).

In some words:

  1. ough = ow (gh is silent): plough, bough, drought.
  2. ough = ō (gh is silent): dough, although, thorough.
  3. ough = ŏ (gh = /f/): cough, trough
  4. ough = ŏ (gh is silent): ought, bought, fought, brought, sought, thought.
  5. ough = ŭ (gh = /f/): rough, tough, enough.
  6. In the word “through,” ough = ū (gh is silent)

Practice OUGH words at Quizlet, and highlight the OUGH words in the sentences at BBC Bitesize.  Watch the video below from the “I Love Lucy” show.

When we learn about diphthongs, the main sound of OU is OW, but it can vary, as seen in these OUGH words. A few more ways that OU can vary are seen in the Nessy Reading Strategy video on OU and in the sentence below.

I thought (short o) our (ow-r) chicken soup (long u) for the young (short u) soul (long o) could (oo) be about (ow) cool enough (short u) to pour (long o-r).

A worksheet for Oh, Those OUGH words! 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.

Short Vowel Variations

After learning about short vowels and consonant blends, learn about short vowel variations. II.c SOUND OUT WORDS – Short vowel variations.

Flossy Words. The letters f, l, s (and sometimes z) often double at the end of one syllable words with a short vowel. Turn the drill off in class or it will buzz. The Bee Buzz game and free Flossy Word Treasure are available at Teachers Pay Teachers.

WATCH videos and PLAY games at the Flossy Words tutorial at Wakelet.

The letter a can say short o. The -all word family is special. In these flossy words the letter a makes a short ŏ sound. WATCH a Prezi and a Super Simple turn and learn video. The letter a can say short ŏ before -ll, and after w and qu. Watch the dog play squash with the ball. A Sounds of A worksheet is available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Closed syllables often have a short vowel, but sometimes not. The letters i and o can sometimes be long when followed by two consonants (but not always!) Fīnd and lĭft the lŏst gōld.

Some one syllable words make a schwa sound. Schwa is often a quick and light “uh” sound. Hear the schwa in these sight words: the sled was a lot of fun. And in these words with the letter o: My son won a ton of money a month from the lottery.

The /k/ sound at the end of one syllable words with short vowels is often spelled -ck. The duck said “quack” on the deck near a slick dock. Try an online wordsearch for the -ck ending.

Some words with short vowels have consonant digraphs. Digraphs are two letters that make one sound, and these consonant letters together make a new sound.

Download bookmarks with pattern sorts for short vowel variations: flossy words, a can say o, ck endings, and short vowels with digraphs. Get free word sorts that include these patterns.

Short Vowel Variations BookmarksLearn about more ways that vowels can vary.

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.

10 Steps to Reading

Learn skills for reading with the following ideas. These tips include some of my favorite free online resources.Reading101

Download the 10 Steps to Reading (pdf)

1. Learn letter names  & sounds, and practice hearing and manipulating sounds; Phonemic awareness.

2. Sound out words with short vowels and CVC words (Consonant-Vowel-Consonant), practice with word families, then continue with consonant blends.

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.

6. Read books to practice the patterns. The books from Progressive Phonics are free, fun, and practice the phonics patterns. They can be printed or read online.

7. Learn sight words. Many high frequency words are not decodable with phonics guidelines.

8. Encourage reading 20 minutes a day. Children who do this from Kindergarten through 6th grade score 90% better than their peers on tests. Check out more Benefits of reading.

9. Use your library. Attend storytimes, participate in summer reading programs, check out books & online resources. Choose fun books at the right level.

10. Read “Phonics from A to Z” by Wiley Blevins (online at issuu) and learn literacy terms.

Credits: Some artwork copyrighted by Mark A Hicks, illustrator, www.MARKiX.net. Used with permission. Sources for other graphics at PinterestPattern charts from boostforreaders

Learn more at Reading Basics from ReadingRockets.org. They have a Get Ready to Read screening tool too.