Scooping a word is the same as dividing the word into syllables. Syllables can be divided by saying them orally or by using a pencil and paper. If we orally divide a word into syllables, we usually clap the word out. For example, if we orally divided the syllables of obligation, we would clap out ob-li-ga-tion and that would be four claps.
If we divided the syllables on paper, we would place a dash or a slash between the ‘b’ and ‘l’ and ‘i’ and ‘g’ and between the ‘a’ and ‘t’. On the answer key, I did divide the words using dashes, but this is for teacher use only – not the way I teach dividing syllables.
So rather that placing a dash or slash between the syllables, there is another way to show the number of syllables in a word, and that is to scoop the syllables. Not dividing the word with a dash or a slash avoids the look of a misplaced letter in the word, and it also avoids the idea of students thinking the word has one less syllable since there are less dashes/slashes than actual syllables. For example: ob-li-ga-tion has three dashes but four syllables. With the idea of scooping with the finger or with a pencil, students can feel and see the scoops which in turn matches the number of syllables.
This packet contains 32 task cards that allow students to practice scooping words with four syllables with the final stable suffix –tion. The first page of task cards models examples of how the scooping should look.