How many vowels are there in the alphabet? (5; a, e, i, o, and u)
What letters are consonants? (all of the other letters in the alphabet besides a, e, i, o, and u.)
What spelling pattern is used in the word “make”? (VCe = vowel, consonant, silent e)
What is a vowel diagraph? (two vowels that are next to one another and represent one sound usually the sound will be long – ex. “ai” as in rain) Give three examples of vowel diagraphs? ______, _______, _______ (ai = mail, ee = keep, oa = boat, ea = beach, etc.)
What is a diphthong? (vowel sounds that combine two separate sounds into a single unbroken sound - ex. “oi” as in boil) Give three examples of diphthongs. ______, ______, _____ (oi = boil, oy = boy, ou = blouse, ow = cow, ew = few)
To help your child read spelling patterns correctly, listen to your child read as they read aloud. If you hear a word that is read incorrect, nicely stop and ask your child questions that will help him/her go back and correct their reading. Ask questions such as, Does the word you read make sense? What letter does that word begin with? Can you sound out that word? Do you see any spelling pattern in the word that you are familiar with? Assist your child in solving the word. If your child still has trouble pronouncing the word then read the word to them. Allow your child to first use various ways of problem-solving, before giving your child the word. This will make sure that your child just doesn’t assume that the word will automatically be read to him/her, but will need to try on their own first.
Remind your child of these simple steps to use when they come to a word that they are unfamiliar with. Step 1 – Look carefully at the unfamiliar word. Step 2 – Look for word parts that you know or words within words and think about the sounds for the letters. For example, in the word “boat” children might identify the word “oat”. Step 3 – Sound out or blend sounds that you know. For example, in the word “thumb” your child might know that the letter t and letter h make the “th” sound. Step 4 – Have your child ask if they word they are reading makes sense in the sentence. Step 5 – Look at any pictures that are given for help. If your child is still having trouble identifying a word, encourage them to use a dictionary to find the pronunciation if the word.
Use the activity of making words to help your child better read and understand spelling patterns. Start with the word family –ake. This spelling pattern follows the VCe pattern or vowel, consonant, silent e pattern. The silent e makes the first vowel long. Have your child write the word family listed above at the top of a piece of paper. Now have your child think of all the words that use this spelling patter. (Ex. make, cake, take, fake, etc) Have your child list as many words as possible. Continue to do this activity using different spelling patterns.
Help your child better understand spelling patterns by playing a game of riddles with your child. This activity can be used with any spelling patterns. For example the spelling pattern may be consonant digraphs (sh, th, wh, and ch). A consonant digraph is two consonants put together to create a whole new sound like in the word church. Think of a word that has a consonant diagraph in it. Now think of a riddle that you could give to your child to guess the word. Using the word “sheep”, you might say “My name begins with /sh/ and I can be found on a farm. Your child would have to guess the word. Allow your child to think of a riddle for you to guess. Go back and forth creating riddles for various spelling sounds.
Using a piece of construction paper, have your child fold the paper so the paper is divided into four equal squares. Have your child write four examples of diphthongs at the top of each square. Diphthongs are vowel sounds that combine two separate sounds into a single unbroken sound. For example, your child might use the spelling patterns oi as in the word boil, oy as in the word boy, ow as in the word cow, and ou as in the word house. Have your child use magazines and/or newspapers to find words that follow these spelling patterns. Have your child cut out the words and glue them on the construction paper. Encourage your child find as many words as possible. An extension activity could be to have your child use these words to create a story.