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.) GH can also be /g/ when you see a ghost all in white, or no sound at all when you have a fright.

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.

Some consonant digraphs make familiar sounds. CK often spells the /k/ sound at the end of one syllable words with short vowels. PH can make the F sound: WATCH the Kids vs Phonics Video (2:47) & Jack Hartmann Video (2:16). GH sometimes make the F sound, but an I before GH makes a long I sound as in the word light, with the gh silent. WATCH the Kids vs Phonics Video (1:23).

-tch ending: the /ch/ sound immediately after a short vowel in a one syllable word is often spelled with -tch. A Catch the Pitch board game and word sort from Super Tutor Tools store is available at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Some words have both a Bossy R vowel and consonant digraphs. Practice these with activities at Shark Chart!

Vowel Teams

Two letters that work together, some vowels work as a team. Two vowels can be a set in a seat and the first one likes to speak.

VowelTeamChair

Vowel Teams (with the exception of diphthongs, which usually make new sounds) are often long, making the sound of the 1st vowel & the 2nd vowel is silent. This guideline is sometimes not reliable, however. There can be many exceptions. EA often makes the long E sound (eat), but sometimes a short E  (bread) or long A (steak). IE often makes the long I sound, but sometimes a long E sound (pie or thief).

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at the Vowel Team tutorial at Wakelet

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 Firefox browser.

WATCH more videos at Kids vs Phonics: A (5:02), E (4:56), I (6:13) O (1:23) U (1:50).

Long Vowel Pattern Chart from This Reading Mama, & Long Vowel Pattern Chart from All About Learning Press (1 page, color)

SORTS Use the words & pictures from Vowel Digraph flashcards at Lanternfish ESL, Long Vowel Match-up from Liz’s Early Learning Spot,  AI/AY picture sort & OA/OW picture sort from 1st Grade & Fabulous (B&W), AI/AY words & picturesOA/OW color pictures from the measured mom

ACTIVITY Vowel Team Clip Cards from Fairy Poppins (includes diphthongs)

PLAY Printable Change game from Adrian Bruce (OA/OW & IE/IGH), Long A Train game & Long E Get the Sheep to the Jeep game from themeasuredmom. Long O Oh no! Toad! game from Fun in 1st with Ms B.

AIAYgame

From the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers: Long A board game with AI & AY,  Long I Oh my! A fly! game & Long U Goose on the Loose game

Diphthongs

Diphthongs

When two letters work together to make one vowel sound that is new, they may be called Diphthongs. These vowel combinations are not long or short (mostly), but make completely different vowel sounds. The letters OI and OY make the same sound. OU and OW do too sometimes, although they can make other sounds. These vowel combinations make sounds with mouth positions that change, the definition of a diphthong. The letters AU and AW make the same sound as a short o. The letters OO can make two different sounds: a short oo like in “foot” or a sound like a long u in “boot.”

Digraphs are two letters that make one sound, and diphthongs may be called vowel digraphs. Vowel teams that often make a long vowel sound are also vowel digraphs, so it is helpful to learn these separately. When Diphthongs are learned first, many of the remaining vowel combinations are long, although this is not always true and there are many variations to learn.

Exceptions: OW can also make a Long O sound in some words (like know and blow). Oh, Those OUGH Words explores some of the variations of OU. It can say OR like in pour, or OO like in soup, and different sounds when followed by the letters ld or gh.

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at the Diphthong tutorial at Wakelet

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 Firefox browser.

WATCH more videos at Kids vs Phonics:  OO (1:21), OO Long (1:44),  OI (1:33), OY 1:40), OI & OY (3:13), OU (1:36), OW (1:54).

LISTEN and play: Diphthong words at Quizlet

 PLAY Printables: OI/OY Piggy Diphthong game from Oh My Little Classity Class, Gurgling Gargoyle game from Adrian Bruce

More Resources:

Bossy R

Bossy R can change CAT into CART! Bossy R likes to be in charge, that is just how they roll. An R behind any vowel changes the sound.

The bird ate corn in the barn. It was her turn. Notice that ER, IR, and UR all have the same sound.

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at the Bossy R tutorial at Wakelet. WATCH Bossy R playlist at PhonicsPow Youtube Channel

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 Bossy R words at Quizlet

SORT Bossy R flashcards from Lanternfish ESL with a: Bossy R Handout from mes-english.com as a sort mat.

READ Bossy R sentences from stickyball.net and r-controlled vowels Fluency Passages from razzledazzleclassroom. READ the book: “Bert’s Super Circus” by Lisa Charlesworth (Scholastic Phonics Tales)

PLAY Printable Go Fish game from themeasuredmom (6 pages, 9 per page, color)

birdinthedirt

Bossy R word sort and game, and Bossy R and Consonant Digraph Soccer Sort Game at the Super Tutor Tools Store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Bossy R with Consonant Digraphs

Some words with Bossy R vowels also have a consonant digraph. Practice these words with activities at Shark Chart!

Bossy R Variations

Bossy R can vary sometimes. When Bossy R meets Silent e, Silent e wins sometimes: words with -are can say long a, Examples: care, share, flare. -ire can say long i, Examples: fire, tire, wire. But notice that OR wins: adore, bore, shore, snore & UR wins: nature, picture, treasure.

An e before ar can have many different sounds: long e (hear), “er”(learn), “air” (pear), & “ar” (heart)

Schwa Bossy R and Silent e vs. Bossy R at Teachers Pay Teachers.

 

Silent e

A letter e at the end of a word is silent and makes the vowel long. A vowel that is long says it’s name. Two E’s  are like twins and often stick together, as in tree, so the e may not always be at the end, like in seed. With the other vowels the silent e at the end is often separated by a consonant. Together or apart, Silent e often works just the same. (although sometimes ie makes a long E sound (see Vowels That Vary), and o_e can make a short U sound. (some, gloves)

SilentE3

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at a Silent e tutorial at Wakelet.

Silente

WATCH more videos from Kids vs Phonics: A_E (2:11), EE (1:27), E_E (1:24) I_E (1:42), IE (1:47), O_E (2:17), U_E (1:56), UE (1:50)and at the Silent e playlist at PhonicsPow Youtube channel

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 at Quizlet

More Silent e Resources:

READ Long A sentences (plus all long vowels) from stickyball.net and BOOKS: “Nice Mice in the Rice” by Brian P Cleary “Here Comes Silent e!” by Anna Hays

SpaceRaceGame

PLAY printable games: The Silent E Freebie Set includes one of each type of resource from several different sets, all about Silent e. You get the Silent e information from the Phonics Fun Folders set, a game board from the Phonics Patterns Game Board Set, a page from the Spot and Dot Phonics Patterns set, and a Soccer Sort Game. (Soccer Sort Games are sold separately at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers). The Bee Hive Silent e game is also available at the Super Tutor Tools store.

In some words, Defender D can stop silent e from making the vowel long. (like in a “badge” and “bridge”) WATCH -dge strategy from Sue’s Strategies. The letter c makes the soft /s/ sound in the word families -ace and -ice, and the letter g makes that soft /j/ sound in Defender D words, so this is a good time to introduce hard or soft c and g.

Some love gloves: some words with the letter o that you might expect to have a long vowel sound do not. Instead, they make the sound of “uh” because of schwa. A few more silent e exception words are have and give, which make the short sound.

There are more ways that vowels can be long.

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.

Word Families

Word families are words that have the same endings, and therefore rhyme. With beginning readers, practice with word families that have a short vowel, and introduce word families with more advanced vowel patterns as they are learned.

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at a Word Families tutorial at Wakelet. 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. Youtube playlists for word families by Little Fox and ChorsiMedia (many short vowels, some others)

WordFamilyCards

Word Family Cards are modified from margedteachingposters for easier printing. (22 cards, 6 pages) Cut the end off of an envelope and slide the clue picture out. Students can make as many words with the same ending as they can think of, then slide the words out to see if they thought of all of them.

The Word Family Picture sorts from flyingintolearning.com can be used to provide pictures with clues. I like to use these with the Word Family Treasure game below.

 

WordFamilyLadderBlank

PLAY Printables: Word Family Treasure game (free!) and Roll a Word Family from the Super Tutor Tools Store at Teachers Pay Teachers

More Word Family Resources:

wordfamilies

When learning more about different phonics patterns later, it can be helpful to intoduce them with word families that illustrate the pattern.

WordFamilyTable2

Short Vowels

ShortVowels

CVC Words like DOG and CAT that have a Consonant Vowel Consonant pattern often make the short vowel sound.

CVCWordRoller

CVC Word Roller – free at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers, CVC Word Machine from homemade-preschool.com.

CVC Cards. Use CVC cards to sort by vowel sound, or for activities for phonological and phonemic awareness.

Closed Syllables. Closed syllables often make the short vowel sound. When a vowel is followed by at least one consonant, it is a closed syllable. An exception sometimes occur when the letters i and o are followed by two consonants. (find and lift the lost gold) A can make a short O sound sometimes. (watch the dog play squash with a ball)

Short i and e. It can be challenging to hear the difference between short i and e. LISTEN to contrast words, WATCH Short E & I Sounds from allaboutlearningpress (2:49) and practice with Short I & E picture sort from tchrgrl.

Word Families. Practice with word families that have short vowels.

Short Vowel Variations. The final consonant of some words with short vowels can double. Learn more about Flossy Words and more short vowel variations.

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at a Short Vowels tutorial at Wakelet. 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 Firefox Browser.

PLAY more online games: Sliding Beaver and  Hanging Monkeys from literactive. Cloudy DayVowel Popper and Vowel Ace at roomrecess.com (choose short vowels)

READ short vowel sentences from stickyball.net, Beginner Books from Progressive Phonics. READ Books: “Gran on a Fan” by Kevin Bolger, “The Bug in the Jug Wants a Hug” by Brian P Cleary.

cvcwords

PLAY Printables at the ABCs of games for reading.

ShortLongVowelChart

Short and Long Vowels. Review the difference between short and long vowels. Use the short or long picture sorts from First Grade a la Carte or a pdf (source unknown) of Short & Long Pictures & Words. The Short and Long Vowel Chart is free at the Super Tutor Tool store.

WATCH videos and PLAY onlines games at the Short or Long Vowels Wakelet Tutorial.

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

Hearing and manipulating the sounds in language are important skills for learning to read. Phonemic awareness and letter knowledge have been identified in several research studies as the two key indicators of how well children will master beginning reading skills during the first two years in school. (The Threads of Reading by Karen Tankersly at ascd.org)

Understanding Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

Both are about the ability to hear & manipulate the sounds in language…

  • Phonological Awareness – in words & syllables
    • Phonemic Awareness – at the phoneme (individual sounds within words) level

A Phonological and Phonemic Awareness tutorial at Wakelet includes videos to watch.

Phonological Awareness at Dyslexia Help and readingresource.net provide helpful explanantions.

Phonological Interventions for Struggling Readers from Learning at the Primary Pond has this illustration of the progression of skills, and lots of ideas for activities for developing them.

Printable Charts:

Build a foundation of skills with increasing difficulty from bottom to top.

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness charts are available free at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers Super Tutor store.

ACTIVITIES

Use CVC picture cards to rhyme, say the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd sound, or listen for the difference between two.

Sightwords.com has great resources for phonological and phonemic awareness. More activities for phonemic awareness at Reading Rockets. In phonological and phonemic awareness, the emphasis is on hearing sounds. The activities below can be helpful additions to a Phonics Kit.

Rhyming

crayonboxsort

Syllable Counting: clap or tap, or feel your mouth drop.

Compound Words

Syllable Manipulation: WordList (pdf) to blend, segment or delete syllables.

Identify initial sounds

Phoneme blending

Phoneme segmenting

Phoneme segmenting and manipulation

  • Word list for deleting and substituting from ontrackreading
  • Word Building and Substitution free from Super Tutor Tools at Teachers Pay Teachers. Start with a word, then change one sound at a time and identify the letter.

WordBuilding

PLAY Online games: Phonemic Awareness Symbaloo

Note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Firefox browser. Abcya is free on pc only.

Download a Chart with online games in the sequence to build phonological awareness skills.