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The 6 Syllable Types.... with animal rears!

Today we went over the 6 Syllable Types in class.  I start off teaching the syllable types whole group before we break up into spelling groups.  I find that if we come up with common vocabulary of how we identify them and break them a part, life becomes a bit easier.  

Teaching Syllable Types is not the most exciting content to teach.  When I heard about a book that was all about animal butts- I knew that was my connection so that they would hopefully remember it!  Who can forget splitting a part syllables, when the words are various names for animal's behinds?!?  I won't!  

Here is how the day went...This could easily be split into two

We made a list about why English was trick-- the rules, pronunciation, why sounds don't match with letters, etc.

Then we watched the Brain Pop on Etymology- and they learned where we get words from and why English has so many options.  I emphasize throughout the year that language is history and power.  When the Anglo-Saxons who had been around and were a mix of a lot of people rose to power- so did their language and all of the history of how certain words were included.

I passed out "nerd glasses" that I bought from Oriental Trading.  We call these our 'word nerd' glasses and when we are wearing them we are scholars.  Scholars are curious, want to figure things out, and take what they do seriously.  

I have them all gather either at their seats or at the carpet with their "Word Work" composition notebook.  This is the first day they have used them.  

In 4th grade most kids are familiar with some syllable and even younger kids are familiar with a cvc pattern.  I repeat a one syllable word like book and then book case and then tap out the first syllable.  We talk about how syllables are the beats to the words and every syllable MUST have a vowel.  It is not a syllable if it doesn't have a vowel.  I ask them if they are familiar with syllables and to talk to their partners about what they know. Then we share out.  

In their notebooks we label the date and title it "The 6 Syllable Types." When I was in younger grades I had a notebook handout that I would include, but I made the 4th graders take note as we discussed.  

I then write #1 and talk about cat.... it's a closed syllable because the consonant closes in the vowel and makes it short.  I show how to mark it and then we play around with some.  I also include the exceptions/odd balls/rule breakers of each syllable type.  -ild, ind, old, ost, olt. We break apart multi-syllable words and mark them napkin, rabbit, etc. 

2.  Open Syllables-- me--- the vowel is open and usually long.  be, me, hi.  We break apart multiple syllable ones and label it for the open and closed syllables- tiger, focus- and noting how we broke them up.  - oddball Alaska, animal- where I introduce the schwa or "uh" sound.  

3.  v-e- or vowel consonant e- the e is silent, skips over the consonant, and makes the vowel say it's name.  cake, flute- obsolete.---oddball- give.  

4.  r-controlled- bossy r- one vowel followed by a r.  burn, star, carrot, turnip.  Oddball- berry.

5.  d syllable- double vowel/diphthong.  tow vowels appear in the same syllable- two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.  ai, ay, ee, ea, oa, oo, oi, ow, oy, ou,ie, ei,igh, ow, ue- boat, cow, meat, meet, beaten, boyish.  oddball- create. (sometimes two vowels are broken apart in multi-syllable words)

6.  -le- consonant le.  a consonant with l and silent e at the end.  always a multiple syllable word.  puzzle, bubbble, circle.  oddball- castle, hustle- t is silent.    

After each syllable type I gave smarties/nerds. 

I then tell them I want to read a mildly inappropriate book called Chicken Cheeks.  It's an easy book with a TON of features to pull from in addition to syllables: alliteration, silent letters, rhyming, prediction, etc.  I read it twice with both classes, each time they noticed other things.  We played with the words and were all amazed that our rumps could have so many synonyms.  

They then head to their seats and I pass out the break it apart sheet.  I put the words up on the screen and we break them into syllables first.  I have included two options of words in case you don't have the Chicken Cheeks book.  

After they have broken words into syllables- depending on the group they can begin marking or color coding the various syllables and sorting those syllables into the various categories.  They love the fact that they are splitting a part animal rears and think of all sorts of ways they are going to tell their parents what they did at school.

I will be using this activity throughout the year for their spelling and vocabulary words.  Being aware of the syllable types and knowing how to split up words supports students as they being reading higher and more context specific text. It helps them make sense of English and help categorize by naming what is happening in the word.

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