Teach Consonant Blends

Yesterday I helped a student I tutor practice reading words with beginning consonant blends from books before reading. Blends can be tricky for some early readers. Many children like to stop after the first sound in a word. This stopping after the first sound can be a result of too much word family learning. Blending more than one sound without pausing helps a reader hear a word better. Have you heard of body-coda blending?

A reader can learn to see and blend consonant blends together without pausing.

Reading consonant blends quickly together before attempting the rest of a word can be taught by covering up other parts of a word in a book to only show the blend, separating the blend when writing a word, or using magnetic letters to separate the blend.

The books I used to teach and practice consonant blends in these pictures came from a ten book series written by Nora Gaydos. I love all her books! I used the stories: Drips and Spills and Hop, Frog, Hop from the Playful Pals Level 1 Phonics Reader Set.

You can find more information I share about teaching reading on my Parent and Child Reading Assistance Website.  



Lak said...

Thank you very much for the useful information! I've been looking for readers which use consonant blends but it's difficult to find books which have a clear font and which are not too difficult.

I just ordered a set of books from Amazon.

Michelle said...

I think you'll really like them! There's a whole series from Nora Gadyos. My Amazon Store has more recommended books. Be sure to look at the categories on the side. Toon Books and Comics are new additions. Toon Books are for beginning readers.

Lak said...

Thanks Michelle. I will certainly take a look. I'm a dyslexia teacher/tester and am always on the lookout for books which I can use for children who are struggling to read.

At the moment I am using a combination of Dandelion readers (from Crossbow) and Fitzroy readers.

Nora Gadyos' books will be a valuable addition. said...

I was just wondering if you would know a way of introducing blends using picture clues or movements. For example a picture of a train for Ch... for choo choo... or putting a finger up to the mouth doing the shsss movement for sh... I am trying to come up with other ideas for the other blends

Michelle said...

I think making a sound like the train or the finger up to the mouth is a great idea for ch and sh. These letters work together to make one sound together like th.
When I teach blends I encourage readers to make each sound. There are so many blends. I don't think I'd do picture cards for each as a way of remembering, but I would with the diagraphs that make a unique sound together. I think repeated practice of making the separate sounds and working to make the sounds closer together will make reading blends easier.
I helped in a kindergarden class a few years ago with my twins' teacher. She had a pocket chart with picture cards and blend pockets to match blends. I always made sure the kids said the blend alone and then the word before putting a picture in a pocket. This really seemed to help. It came easy for some. The ones who got my help learned to say and hear each letter sound and blend it close together. I loved watching the kids get better. I think this activity carried over to their reading. At least I hope it did.
Thanks for sharing your idea for ch and sh Sunsining7!

Deb Chitwood said...

Great post, Michelle! I love that you use different colored letters for the vowels and isolate the difficulty so well. I've bookmarked your post! Deb @