Syllable Types

Hi friends! It's been a while, but I'm excited to say that I have several posts coming soon. I have most of them half done. LOL! I know, I know, focus Sarah! Get one done and then the next. ha! I have had a lot of questions recently about syllable types and syllable division rules. (That post coming next.) 

What are Syllable Types?
There are 7 written syllable types used in English spelling (six if you combine vowel teams and diphthongs). To read and spell, students need to know these syllable types. Knowing these syllable types makes decoding and encoding easier and more efficient. There are only 5 vowels (6 if you count y), but they make several sounds! Knowing the syllable types helps to narrow down what sound to make. 

If you are teaching your student to read multi-syllable words, instruct them to apply syllable division rules first.  Then they can decode each syllable based on what type of syllable it is is. (Post about syllable division rules here)

I posted these first two posters below in another post about Structured Literacy, but I think it's helpful to see it all in one place. 

This visual shows you an example of a two syllable word, how it would be divided, and the types of syllables in each. 

The following posters explain in a little more detail. You can find these Syllable Type Posters HERE.

Closed Syllables:
I teach the closed syllable type first. Most teachers do even if they don't know they are called closed syllables. This includes CVC words, and digraphs and blends with short vowels (cat, with, shop, block, slip, etc.). 

If you would like a very detailed unit about one-syllable closed syllables, click HERE. If you would like a unit about two-syllable with closed and open syllables, click HERE.

Open Syllables:
Next, I teach open syllables. There are not many one-syllable words that open (me, be, she, so) but there are tons of multi-syllable words with open syllables. Open syllables includes words that end in y as well (by, try, baby). This is when I introduce y as a vowel. 

You can find a detailed unit on  open syllables HERE.  Like I mentioned above, I also have a unit that focuses on two-syllable words with open and closed syllables. You can find that HERE.

Silent e:
Next I teach the silent e. I need to do another blog post soon on the many jobs of the silent e. This magic e that makes the first say its name is just one of those jobs. There is SO much more to the silent e though! That post is next on my list. I plan on making a more detailed unit on silent e too, but for now I have these resources for the magic e.  So far, I only have one-syllable resources, but soon will have some two-syllable silent e syllable division practice.  

Consonant -le
Consonant + le is one of my favorites to teach because it explains so much! In fact, this is one of the other jobs of the silent e that I was talking about. The e is silent but it does not really do anything. Instead it's purpose is to be a "marker". Every syllable must have a vowel. This e is there to do just that. It makes this type of a syllable a syllable. Unlike the other syllable types, it is never a word by itself. It is always at the end of a word and it's in the unaccented syllable. (What's that? click here to read more.) It's also the only syllable type where you can't hear the vowel sound.  Consonant +le can be -cle, dle, tle, ple, fle, gle, kle, ble, and zle. 

Bossy R (R-Controlled Vowels)
Bossy r is a tricky one! It's tricky because it only changes the vowel sound when that vowel is before the r. Here are some bossy r resources for one-syllable words. 

Vowel Teams:
Vowel teams and diphthongs are often put together, but I like to teach them separately. I'm not a linguist so I may be wrong about this, but here's how I separate the two. With vowel teams, the first vowel usually says it's name (exception is ea in bread). I actually like to teach ow (as in flow) with the vowel teams, even though technically w is not a vowel. But it follows this same rule of the first vowel saying it's name. (I teach the other ow as in cow with diphthongs.) I don't have a detailed pack for vowel teams yet, but I do have some resources for one-syllable words with vowels teams. You can find those HERE. 

Diphthongs are the trickiest of all in my opinion, because they just have to be memorized. There are several high frequency words that include these so  using those words as a reminder can be helpful. I don't have any finished and published diphthong resources yet but I promise they are coming! 

I hope this helps! Make sure you read my post about syllable division and Structured Literacy, too!