Guest Author - Heidi Shelton Jenck
Children can build phonemic awareness and phonics skills by learning about word families. Word families are groups of words that have the same root or base sound. For example, cat, hat, and mat all end with at. They are part of the -at word family. Once students can identify words that end with the same sound, they can begin making observations about how those words are spelled, and later identify word families in text.
Words that sound the same are often spelled the same. Discovering this concept is an important reading and writing skill development. The word family endings listed below can be used during skill building activities.
When children are first learning about word families, ask them to make a word family with letter tiles. The children should add beginning sound tiles to make complete words as you say them.
For example, students can make ug using letter tiles. They will add initial consonants to make the words: bug, dug, hug, jug, lug, mug, pug, rug and tug. Each time you say a new word, the child should leave the word family in place, and only change the initial letter sound tiles.
Word Family Endings
-ab, -ace, -ack, -ad, -ade, -ag, -age, -aim, -ain, -air, ake, -ale, -all, -am, -ame, -an, -ank, -ap, -ape, arm, -art, -ash, -ass, -ast, -at, -atch, -ate, -atter, -ave, -aw, -awn, -ay, -aze
-each, -eat, -eck, -ed, -ee, -eed, -eek, -eel, -eem, een, -eep, -eer, -eet, -eeze, -ell, -en, -end, -ent, -ess, -est, -et, -ew
-ice, -ick, -id, -ide, -ief, -ife, -ight, -ike, -ile, -ill, -im, -ime, -in, -ine, -ing, -ink, -ip, -ish, -it, -itch, -ive
-oad, -oak, -oat, -ock, -og, -oil, -oke, -old, -ole, -oo, -ood, -oof, -ook, -ool, -oom, -oon, -oop, -oot, -op, -ore, -oor, -orn, -ort, -ose, -oss, -ot, -ought, -ouse, -out, -ow, -own
-uck, -ug, -um, -umb, -ump, -un, -unk, -unny, -ush
For a multisensory activity, try the Learning Resource Reading Rods Word Family Rods by Learning Resources, available at Amazon.com.
Try 20 Week-By-Week Word Family Packets: An Easy System for Teaching the Top 120 Word Families to Set the Stage for Reading Success (Teaching Resources) (Scholastic) by Lisa McKeon for practice activities. Available at Amazon.com.