Usually around this time of year, Kindergarten teachers have finished teaching the consonant and short vowel sounds and hopefully some students are using these skills for basic decoding. Now is the time to start introducing the consonant blends – I usually start with the final blends, followed by the initial blends. While most students have little trouble with the final blends, the initial blends can be tricky for children to hear accurately.
It was my experience that children would typically record just one of the two blend sounds when spelling (eg – for ‘blend’, they would put bend; cap for clap; sin for spin; fog for frog).
I developed a Blackline Master set called Listening for Initial Blends to correct this problem. Children listen to words and have to identify whether they hear a blend or not. It requires them to listen carefully to the beginning sound(s) of the words (word lists are included) and then trace over the letter pattern they hear. In this way, they hear the sound and see the corresponding sound pattern – similar to a phonological awareness activity in that the students are listening for sound differences but I do include the printed letters so they can attach the sound they hear to a specific letter or group of letters and better internalize the spelling pattern.
‘l’ blends – bl, cl, fl, gl, pl
‘r’ blends – br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr
‘t’ blend = tw
‘s’ blends – sc, sk, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw, scr, spr, spl, str
***FREE*** With every order placed, I will include 4 pages on Listening for ‘ck’, ‘ng’ and ‘nk’ – many children find these three sounds difficult to discriminate between.
Blends are tricky, but with proper auditory training, they can be mastered!