In many classrooms, students learn to read and write multisyllabic words by dividing them into individual syllables that can be analyzed and decoded.
Teachers ask, “Why should we teach syllabification?” and “Where do we begin?” As students progress to higher levels of reading, the number of multi-syllabic words increases. With the right instruction, students can use sight words and knowledge of consonants and vowel sounds to decode polysyllabic words. This knowledge helps students to break words into smaller units and then apply their existing word identification skills. Identifying syllable boundaries is important because it helps students determine the correct vowel sound. By following syllabication rules, students can learn how to properly divide a word into syllables.
Teaching multi-syllable words can be challenging to teach. This download includes a complete copy of our Exploring Syllables book which contains everything you need and more to help your students master syllabification.
This book, Exploring Syllables, includes:
• Auditory perception instructional pages
• Auditory perception games and learning activities
• Syllabification rules, examples and resources
• Instructional pages for teachers and parents
• Word sorts for syllabification rules, affixes, compound words, double consonant words (VC/CV), single consonant words (V/CV), and final “le” words
• Games and learning activities for syllabification rules, affixes, compound words, double consonant words (VC/CV), single consonant words (V/CV), and final “le” words
• Icons to support each type of syllable configuration (i.e. is the icon for prefix) strengthening the manipulation of words in sorting. This format is similar to the Montessori format for parts of speech.
There are indeed many types of syllables. Knowing the different kinds of syllables will help children move as readers from reading one syllable words to multi-syllabic words like watermelon and helicopter.
What is important to know about syllabification?
• Groups of letters form a syllable or word part.
• You can hear a syllable.
o It is possible to clap and count the syllables in a word.
• The letters surrounding a group of letters determines whether it is a syllable.
o For example, “bi” in bicycle is a syllable, but “bi” in bike is not. (Adams, 1990)
• All syllables have one vowel sound.
o The vowel sound can be made up of more than one letter. For example “Feet” contains only one vowel sound but the two “e’s” make the single sound of long e.
• Identifying the vowel sounds in a word helps when breaking it into syllables.
• Knowing syllabification helps a reader to approximately pronounce a word.
o The reader needs to know if the pronunciation is a word in his/her speaking or reading vocabulary.
• When there is only one consonant between two vowels, divide the word before the consonant.
o Try the long vowel sound first on the first syllable. (ba – con)
• When the ending “le” is preceded by a consonant, the consonant is part of the last syllable. (cir – cle)
• Affixes are usually syllables by themselves.
o These prefixes and suffixes have meaning. (reread - to do again, reading – in the process of)
o Prefixes do not change the spelling of the base word.
o Suffixes may or may not change the spelling of the base word.
• When a word is a compound word, divide the word between the two smaller words.
• When there are two consonants in the middle of a word, divide the word between the two letters.
o These syllables usually have a short vowel sound.
o Do not divide digraphs and other clusters that make one sound. (sh, ch, wh, th, tch, and nk)
Note: The key to syllabification is “flexibility”. The generalizations suggest which strategy and which vowel sound the reader may want to try first. Ultimately, the student needs to recognize whether or not that pronunciation produces a known word after the syllables are recombined. Is “ro – bin” with a long o a word in the reader’s vocabulary or is “rob – in” with a short o a known word.
The book, activities and word sorts are aligned with the following ELA Common Core Standards:
Kindergarten: RF K.2b
Grade 1: RF 1.2b, RF 1.3d, RF 1.3de
Grade 2: RF 2.3a, RF 2.3b, RF2.3d
Grade 3: RF 3.3a, RF 3.3c
Grade 4: RF 4.3
Grade 5: RF 5.3
Contact us for more information or with any questions you have!
If you like this book, Exploring Syllables, check out our other word sorts from our books Exploring Words and Exploring Word Families (sold in smaller bundles of related word sorts)!
Visit us at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Exploring-Words-By-Suemer-Productions to see what other word study sorts are available for you and your students. Be sure to follow us on TPT, we’re adding more and more sorts!