• Katelyn Robey

Syllable Practice – Making Words

Updated: Jun 9

Last week I posted about a resource I created and used for working on syllabication with my students. In that post I described the method I used for whole class practice hearing, segmenting, and then reading syllables.

This week, I took that lesson a step further with small groups that I work with. Instead of hearing whole words and then breaking them into syllables, we did the opposite. We read through a set of syllable cards, and then the students were able to manipulate those cards in order to build words with multiple syllables.

One of my students literally starting jumping up and down with excitement at one point.


Any class or group of students that are working on noticing, using, writing, or reading syllables within words or who are practicing the rules of syllabication and syllable type.


Syllable Cards

Accompanying Word Lists (Optional)


The teacher’s role in this activity is pretty minimal and more about guiding students.

  1. Run through the syllable cards with students, flashcard style. Show them a card, have them read it, discuss any mispronunciations if necessary. This should take no more than a minute or two.

Using syllables that focus on vowel teams, I showed students each syllable for them to read. When necessary, we discussed the syllable type and how it’s pronounced correctly.

  1. Lay the cards out for students to see. Direct students to put syllables together to create words, giving them an example and modelling the directions. Then, let the students loose to find and create words, monitoring and helping if necessary to make sure students are creating actual words and reading the syllables correctly. This is the bulk of the activity and could take anywhere from 5 to 10 to 15 or more minutes, depending on how many syllable cards are available to students.

  2. Have a place either in a notebook, on a whiteboard, or on display on the classroom board/anchor chart for students to make a list of the words they were able to create.

  3. Discuss why the spelling of some words require a letter to be taken away (like a dropped e when adding -ing) or why some doubled letters stay doubled (because the way we read the word/syllable would most likely change if the doubled letter wasn’t there) if it comes up as students write their found words.

  4. Have students read through the list of words they created. Give them a big congratulations for creating and also reading so many tough, multisyllabic words!


This activity could easily be done as a whole class activity, or with small groups of students as a review or practice with syllable types. The set(s) of more focused syllable types, like the set of syllable cards that focused on vowel teams, makes for a great way to practice or review those specific phonics skills.

Allowing students to work together in independent groups or as center work with partners would be a great use of this resources as well, allowing students to read the cards together before laying them out to create words. Making the word list available would provide a bit of support for students or partners that are stumped in order to get them going.


After students create words, an excellent extension would be for them to choose words and write them in a sentence. This not only provides context for the words and adds to application of the phonics skills, but it also adds a vocabulary component to the lesson.

When I did this lesson with my small groups, the students had to either tell me the meaning of the word(s) they created or give me the word in a sentence before I let them write their word on the board.

The funniest sentence of the day came from this word. Other students that found this word described it as a type of spice or food. This student’s sentence was “A person with orange hair is a ginger.”

The possibilities of how these syllable cards can be used are endless! As I continue to create and use these syllable cards with my students, I’ll keep posting about the ideas I’ve come up with and share, so make sure you subscribe to either this blog or my TPT store (or both!) that way you don’t miss out!

#phonics #longvowels #OG #segmentingsyllables #readingstrategy #firstgrade #syllabication #reading #multisensory #ortongillingham #syllables #vowelteam #scienceofreading #fourthgrade #intervention #secondgrade #thirdgrade #independentcenters #readinglesson #decoding #syllablecards #multisyllabicwords #multisensory


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