In this post you’ll learn about six syllable types and come to understand how teaching them to your students can help them decode and encode words. Get details about my Syllable Types Resource and grab a FREE syllable types activity perfect for first and second grade classrooms!
Recently, I have taken a head first dive into the Science of Reading. I’ve enrolled in Dr. Deb Glasers’ The Reading Teacher’s Top Ten Tools course and viewed the Really Great Reading Webinars. These valuable resources have introduced me to new strategies that help children learn to read, write and spell, including the importance of teaching our students the six syllable types.
When teachers and students know the syllable types they can explain the spelling of many words, figure out the spelling of words, and use the knowledge to decode and pronounce words.
Today I’m excited to share with you more of what I’ve learned through my studies. I’ll define the six syllable types, further explain to you how knowing the six syllable types can help students, and leave you with a wonderful resource to teach the syllable types in your classroom!
The Six Syllable Types
Just a little background info on syllables to get us started…..
Every word has at least one vowel and every syllable has one vowel sound. Single-syllable words, like she and fine, each have one vowel sound. Multisyllabic words have one vowel sound for each syllable. For example, de-fine, pro-gram, chil-dren.
The type of syllable depends on the sound the vowel makes. Words with more than one syllable can have the same syllable type or different syllable types.
So let’s take a look at the six different types of syllables in the English Language…
💕 Closed: These syllables end in a consonant and the vowel is usually short. This is the most common type of syllable we see in English. Ex: rab–bit, text, dad, chop, at, it
💕 Open Syllables: These syllables end in one vowel and the vowel is generally long. Ex: ro-bot, hi, she, no
*Note: Open and closed syllables make up almost 75% of syllables in English Words, so I recommend you teach these first.
💕 Vowel + Consonant + E Syllables: These syllables have a long vowel and end with a silent e. Ex: cup-cake. make, cute
💕 Vowel Team Syllables: These syllables are spelled with two vowels that are next to each other. Ex: tea-cup
💕 R-Controlled Syllables: These syllables have a vowel followed by the letter r (er, ir, ur, ar, or). The letter r affects the vowel sound. These types of syllables can be difficult for students to master and will likely require continuous review. Ex: bur–ger, bird, arm
💕 Consonant + LE Syllables: These syllables have a consonant followed by -le at the end of the word. If a C-le syllable is combined with an open syllable — as in cable, you do not double the consonant. If one is combined with a closed syllable — little — you double the consonant.
Why Should We Teach the Different Types of Syllables?
When students have knowledge of syllables it helps them in a variety of ways. It supports them in decoding, helps them to read more fluently (which supports comprehension!), and helps them to pronounce and spell words correctly.
When a student is trying to read a word, they need a clear strategy to figure out what sound the vowel in the word is making. When they know the sound the vowel makes, they can then correctly blend the sounds in the word, decode it and pronounce it correctly. Learning the different syllable types or patterns is a systematic way of helping them do all of this!
Do you have students who can read one and two-syllable words but when presented with a longer word, just guesses or maybe skips it altogether? These students don’t realize that longer words are really just smaller words and patterns put together.
Teaching students the syllable types helps them understand how to break longer words into manageable parts. It allows them to read longer words more accurately and fluently, builds their confidence as readers, and gives them a strategy for attacking these longer, more challenging words!
Finally, knowledge of the syllable types doesn’t just help students with their decoding. It also helps students in their writing as they work to encode (spell) longer words. When they work to encode a word, encourage them to carefully listen to the vowel sound in each particular syllable. They can then select the correct syllable type and match letters to the phonemes they hear.
As the teacher, you can focus on the vowel sound in each syllable to help explain the spelling of a word to your students.
How to Teach the Six Syllable Types
So you’ve got this information about syllable types and how they help your students- hooray! But now you’re left wondering, “How do I actually teach all of this to my students?” No worries, I’ve got you covered!
My Syllable Types and Syllable Division resource comes with everything you need to explicitly and systematically teach each kind of syllable to your students, as well as give your students a variety of practice opportunities that they’ll need for mastery!
This resource includes research-based information for you to keep learning, as well as links to additional resources. You’ll also get a syllable type scope and sequence to help ensure your instruction is systematic and leaves no gaps.
You’ll get digital teaching slides designed for whole group instruction. These ensure all of your students receive explicit, direct instruction when you are first introducing your students to the syllable types.
Next, use these small group practice activities to guide your students to master the six syllable types.
The interactive digital slide activities give students the practice and review we know they need for mastery. These activities provide students with immediate feedback for each word which keeps them engaged and motivated!
The printables provide students with independent practice decoding one syllable, two syllable, and three syllable words.
Once students have mastered the different syllable types, they can use the printable practice sheets or digital slides for independent practice during literacy centers.
Finally, you’ll get teaching posters for each type of syllable that you can use for your direct instruction and/or post in your classroom so students can reference them when needed!
Are you ready to begin teaching syllable types in your classroom? To get you started I’m sharing FREE Syllable Types and Syllable Division – Digital & Printable Activities! This sample makes a perfect literacy center or independent activity! Grab it here:
I hope the information I’ve shared on the six syllable types will motivate you to bring this type of instruction to your students, and that the Syllable Types resource will allow you to do so with ease! I’m excited for you to give it a try, as I know it will help your students become stronger, more effective readers and writers!
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