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Phonics/Decoding Rules

SOUND – SPELLING CARDS 102

Apple Card

? Apple - /_/ - spelled A

? Short vowel sound (mouth open when sound is produced)

? Occurs in a syllable that ends with a consonant letter

(cvc, vc):am and can had cat dance quack

? Exceptions: what, father, mamma, ancient

? When /a/ occurs in an unstressed syllable (schwa), the

sound is muffled and may change: fi-nal, a-lone, so-da

Bear Card

? Bear - /b/- spelled B

? A voiced consonant

? Also occurs in consonant blends with R and L: brown, break,

blink, blue

? If the blend splits up between vowels (prob-lem) the B

makes the first vowel short

Cat Card

? Cat - /k/ - spelled C, K, blank-CK

? An unvoiced consonant

? This is the hard C sound and occurs before any letter

except E, I, or Y: can, cop, cut, clip, crab, fact, acme,

acquire

o Exceptions: Caesar, façade, muscle, indict

? The letter K followed by E, I, or Y results in the hard C sound:

kept, keep, kite, kit, shake, shaken, shaking

? _CK is used to spell the sound of K at the end of the root word, right

after a short vowel. Native English words do not end in C.

o NOTE: To scaffold this card for students, add a green Post-it to

the blank line in front of the CK to indicate this spelling always

follows a short vowel: pack, peck, pick, pock, block, duck, truck

o Exceptions: Mac, Doc, trek, sac – slang or foreign words

? When the occasion arises, a Post-it with the CH spelling for the

sound of K may be added to the cat card. Words of Greek origin,

borrowed by the Romans, contained a sound they could not

pronounce. They rewrote the sound using the CH: school,

Christmas, chlorine, character, stomach

Duck Card

? Duck - /d/ - spelled D, blank-ED

? A voiced consonant

? Can occur in consonant blends with R and W – DR and DW:

drink, draw, dwarf, children, laundry

? The _ED is pronounced as a voiced /d/ sound if it follows

? a vowel or a voiced or nasal consonant: closed, dined, timed, pulled

? The _ED is pronounced as /t/ following an unvoiced

? consonant other than the letter T: asked, mixed, baked

? The _ED is pronounced as a separate syllable –ed after D

? and T: added, handed, voted, pasted, completed

Elephant Card

? Elephant - /_/ - spelled E

? Short vowel sound when it is within the syllable – cvc

? Short vowel sound when it begins a word and is followed by

a consonant in the same syllable – egg, ef-fort, ex-tra

o Exception: pretty

? E is also short when combined with A to form the vowel

team EA -- head, deaf, bear, heavy, breath, bread

? The sounds of E are muffled beyond recognition in the syllables

which are the most hurried and the least stressed. This happens

mainly to the sounds spelled by the simple letter E:

telephone, competition, funnel, basket, confidence

Fish Card

? Fish - /f/ - spelled F

? An unvoiced consonant

? May be part of a consonant blend with L and R – FL an FR:

free, from, flat, friend, flower, Friday

? These blends seldom split up between vowels; the vowel

before the blend is long - refrain, reflect

? When the occasion arises, a Post-it with the _FF spelling may be

added to the fish card. The _FF is a letter team for the sound of F

following a short vowel at the end of a syllable or word. Adding a

green Post-it to the blank line in front of the FF will scaffold this

spelling pattern for your students: off, staff, bluff, gruff, sheriff,

fluff

? When the occasion arises, a Post-it with the PH spelling may be

added to the fish card. This is a Greek spelling for the F sound:

phone, photo, elephant, alphabet, graph

? When P and H belong to different syllables, they do not make the F

sound (loophole, shepherd, uphill).

? In a very few instances, the F sound is made by the consonant team

of GH (rough, tough, cough, laugh), but since there are so few of

these words, it is not recommended that a post-it be added to the

Fish card.

Goose Card

? Goose - /g/ - spelled G

? A voiced consonant

? G makes the hard G sound when it comes before any letter

except E, I, or Y – game, go, glass, dogfish, fragment, signal

? G makes the hard sound when it has nothing that comes

after it: beg, bag, dog, leg, brag

o Exceptions: get, give, girl, begin, gaunt,

? G may also be joined with R and L in consonant blends. If the blend

is split over syllables, the vowel before it is short. If the blend does

not split, the vowel before it is long: prog-ress, pro-gram

? In a very few instances, G combines with H to form the hard G sound

(ghost, ghoul, spaghetti) but since there are so few of these words,

it is not recommended that a post-it be added to the Goose card.

? GU can also be a consonant team for the hard G sound. This occurs

when the next letter is an E or an I: guess, league, guide. The GU

keeps the E or I from making the G a soft G.

? GU may also be a consonant blend where the G is hard and the U

represents the sound of W: penguin, language, distinguish

Horse Card

? Horse - /h/ - spelled H - blank

? An unvoiced consonant

? In English, the H has one basic sound, the first sound in

help. It makes this sound when it is the first letter in a

word or syllable.

? There are some French and Latin words in which the H is

silent: honor, heir, hour, honest, exhaust, vehicle

? H almost never occurs alone after a vowel in English; exceptions

being oh, ah, hah, eh, uh (approximations of inarticulate grunts)

? H is the second letter in the consonant teams CH, GH, PH, RH, SH,

TH, WH; teams for sounds which did not exist in the Latin language

(refer to CH, SH, TH, WH cards)

Igloo Card

? Igloo - /_/ - spelled I

? I is short in a syllable that ends with a consonant – cvc or

vc: it, is, bit, mist, print, quilt, bit-ten, pre-dic-tion

? When there are two consonants between vowels, the first

vowel is almost always short: fifty, assistant, timber,

missed

? Only words of foreign origin, slang terms, and the pronoun I end in

the letter I: hi-fi, taxi, macaroni, alibi, fungi, timpani

? Unlike the sounds of other English vowels, the sounds of I in

unstressed syllables (schwa) are fairly distinct. When the next

letter is a consonant, the I remains detectably long or short,

depending on how it would sound if stressed: i-de-a-lism, li-bra-ri-an,

ta-king. When I, before a vowel, is unstressed because it is in a

suffix, it has a distinct long E sound: hap-pi-er, va-ri-ous

? NOTE: The kindergarten Alphafriend card is an Iguana card, not an

Igloo card

Jumping Jill Card

? Jumping Jill - /j/ - spelled J, GE, GI-blank, blank-DGE

? J is a voiced consonant: job, joke, jolly, jacket, enjoy,

subject, adjourn

? J is never used as the last letter in a word, instead –GE or

–DGE is used

? GE is used at the end of a word that ends with the J sound:

page, huge, large, forge, plunge, bulge. The silent E makes

the G soft and the vowel long, unless the GE is preceded by

another consonant.

? In words of French origin, the GE at the end of a word is pronounced

ZH: garage, mirage, lingerie

? GI_ is used at the beginning of a syllable when a J sound is needed:

giant, ginger, magic, longitude

o Exceptions: In some words, G is followed by an E, I, or Y and

makes the hard G sound: get, girl, give, gift

? -DGE is a consonant team for the sound of J at the ends of root

words following a short vowel: judge, edge, bridge, hedgehog,

midget. The silent E is needed to make the G a soft G, and the D is

needed so that the silent E does not make the first vowel long.

o NOTE: It is suggested that a green Post-it be added to the

blank line in front of the DGE on the Jumping Jill Card.

Kangaroo Card

? Kangaroo - /k/ - spelled K, C, blank-CK

? K is an unvoiced consonant

? In English K is used only before E, I, or Y when a hard C

sound is needed: king, keep, kitten, shaky, musk, break

sound are spelled _ck, but on the K is used if the /k/

sound follows two vowels (peak, steak) or immediately

follows a consonant (milk, chalk, mink)

? Root words ending in the K sound must be spelled with K

(or CK) because most of them take suffixes that begin with E, I, or

Y: ask/asking, luck/lucky, speak/speaking

o Exceptions: disc, arc, franc, zinc, talc – words of foreign

origin

? In some words of French origin, QUE makes a /k/ sound: bouquet,

mosquito, torque, critique. There are so few of these words in

elementary texts, adding QUE to the Kangaroo card is not

recommended.

Lion Card

? Lion - /l/ - spelled L, blank-LE

? L is a voiced consonant

? The sound of L is a very sophisticated sound and is

especially difficult for beginning reading students,

particularly when it occurs before a vowel

? The letter L is often the first letter in a syllable: let,

last, tab-let, quick-ly

? The letter L is the last member in some consonant blends: black,

clean, chlorine, flag, glad, plan, slip, splash

? When the L sound occurs at the end of a root word we use LL to spell

it: ill, hill, still, cell, fell, mull.

? Unlike _ff and _zz the LL spelling does not always follow a short

vowel. In words of Native English origin, the A may be changed to

the AW sound (hall, ball, tall) and the O sound may be changed to a

long O sound (roll, poll,

? -LE is an English suffix that is pronounced the same way as /el/; _LE

captures the consonant immediately preceding it to create a

separate syllable: ta-ble, ap-ple, bub-ble

? When L occurs after a long vowel sound in a single syllable word, the

word often sounds like it has two syllables: pail, feel, tile, coal, rule,

boil, howl, cool

? The letter L can also be silent before K, M, F, or D; however,

because there are so few of these words, it is not recommended

that LK, LM, LF, or LD be added to their respective Sound-Spelling

cards

Mouse Card

? Mouse - /m/ - spelled M

? M is a nasal consonant: when the mouth is held closed the

voice carries the sound through the nose

? M is a consonant letter used anywhere in a word: me, map,

am, came, important, prism, admit

? MB and MN are consonant teams for the sound of M:

climb, comb, thumb, hymn, column. However, there are so

few words with these spelling patterns it is not recommended that

Post-its with MB or MN be added to the Mouse card.

Noodle Card

? Noodle - /n/ - spelled N, KN-blank, GN

? N is a nasal consonant used anywhere in a word: no, snow,

any, noun, tradition, glen, planned

? KN is a consonant letter team for the sound of N used only

at the beginning of a root word: know, knit, knight, knee,

knothole, ac-know-ledge, un-known

? GN is a consonant team for the sound of N: gnaw, gnat,

align, gnu, assign, design

? GN occasionally represents the sound /ny/: poignant

? GN followed by a Latin suffix breaks up and becomes a hard G:

signal, malignant

Ostrich Card

? Ostrich - /_/ - spelled O

? O is a short vowel when it occurs within a syllable (cvc):

hot, fond, concert, hot-ter, a-dop-ted

o Exceptions: The O sound within a syllable will

sometimes make the short U sound or the long O

sound. Students should be taught to try a short U sound or a

long O sound when the short O sound does not work: son, ton,

front, mother, company, oven, color, come, some, none, done,

love, most, both, don’t

? O is short at the beginning of a word when it is followed by a

consonant: on, off, obstacle, optional

? In words where the O is followed by L or LL in a stressed syllable,

the L goes off with the next syllable and the O is short (jo-lly,

ho-llow, o-live, so-lid, bi-o-logy), except when the L is single and the

suffix makes it a long O (cor-o-llary, co-llapse, po-lar )

? In hurried, unstressed syllables, the O sound is muffled (schwa).

This happens mainly to the sounds spelled by the simple letter O:

po-ta-to, oc-cur, com-bine

? NOTE: The kindergarten Alphafriend card is an Octopus card, not

an Ostrich card

Pig Card

? Pig - /p/ - spelled P

? P is an unvoiced consonant that has one basic sound /p/:

pan, plan, up, tape, happy, crisp, price, spice

? P may occur in consonant blends: SP, PL, SPR, SPL, PR:

spin, play, spring, splash, prod. In all these blends, the P

retains its /p/ sound

? The letter P may occur in the consonant blends PS and PN:

psychology, psychic, pneumatic, pneumonia. In these blends, the P is

silent.

Queen Card

? Queen - /kw/ - spelled QU-blank

? QU is the way we spell the Old English consonant blend

CW: quick, quiet, quilt, squirrel, quarter

? The QU blend is always followed by a vowel. Since vowels

are red on the Sound-Spelling cards, you could scaffold

the blank line on the Queen card by placing a post-it with

a red blank line over the black blank line

? The QU blend sometimes splits up across a syllable: liq-uid, eq-ual,

tranq-uil

? In some words of French origin, QU adds a silent E and becomes a

/k/ sound: bouquet, mosquito, torque, critique. There are so few of

these words in elementary texts, adding QUE to the Kangaroo card

is not recommended.

Rooster Card

? Rooster - /r/ - spelled R, WR-blank

? The letter R is a voiced consonant for the first sound in

rabbit: rain, tree, run, carry, rich

? It is not the /er/ sound. The lips should form a pursed

(kissing) circle and a stream of air is emitted from the

lips.. When making the /er/sound (Bird card), the lips are

open in a square and no stream of air is emitted.

? The letter R is a sophisticated sound and is especially difficult for

beginning reading students. Making and hearing the R sound after

consonants and in consonant blends (br, fr, gr, shr, tr, spr, cr, scr)

develops later than other combinations.

? All short vowel sounds are distorted when followed by the R sound:

car, for, her, sir, fur

o The R sound changes short A to the short O sound: car, far

o The R sound changes short O to the long O sound: for, more

o The R sound changes short E, I, U and the short vowel team EA

to the ER sound: her, fir, fur, learn, early

? When the R sound follows a long vowel and some vowel pairs in a

single syllable word, the word may sound like it has two syllables:

fair, fear, tire, core, sour, poor, pure

? WR_ is a native English spelling for the sound of R at the beginning

of a word only. At one time the W was pronounced. Most of these

words have meanings connected to the idea of twisting: write, wrist,

wrench, wrap, wrestle, wrinkle

? In words borrowed by the Romans from the Greeks, the initial sound

of R is spelled RH: rhyme, rhythm, rhombus, rheumatism. There are

too few of these words in the English language to add a Post-it to

the Rooster card.

Seal Card

? Seal - /s/ - spelled S, CE, CI-blank

? The letter S is an unvoiced consonant for the first

sound in seal and sail: sat, same, sight, soap, soot

o Note: See the Zebra card for the voiced S sound

? The letter S is unvoiced when it is the first member of a

consonant blend: scar, school, skim, slip, smoke, snake,

spin, split, spring, squeak, stick, street, swing, desk, crisp, must,

sphere, schizophrenic, sword

? The letter S is unvoiced when spelled S or SS and is between vowels:

case, basin, besides, usage, house, missile, tassel

? The letter S is the most actively used native English suffix, forming

plural nouns (cat/cats, lip/lips) and the third person singular of the

present tense of verbs (run/runs, hit/hits)

? The letter S makes the unvoiced /s/ sound after unvoiced

consonants: cuffs, looks, tops, hits, rakes, types, notes

? When the unvoiced S sound occurs at the end of a root word,

following a short vowel, it is spelled SS. Because there are a

significant number of words ending in SS, when the occasion arises,

it is recommended that you add a post-it to the Seal card that has a

blank with a green post-it in front of the SS spelling: mass, boss,

kiss, kindness, princess

? A single S occurs at the ends of Latin suffixes: -ous, -as, -is, -os, -

us: famous, canvas, basis, cosmos, cactus, focus

? Some root words end in an unvoiced SE: horse, else, nurse, goose,

grease, tortoise. The silent E shows the reader that the S is not a

suffix and helps distinguish between lapse/laps, diverse/divers.

o Some words ending in SE have a voiced /z/ sound. See the

Zebra card.

? In the consonant blend SC preceding E, I, or Y, the C has a soft

sound, so the blend sounds like a plain S sound: scene, science, scent

? The letter C makes the soft /s/ sound when it is followed by the

letters E, I, or Y: cent, cedar, city, cider, cycle, race, racy

? While the CE spelling for the /s/ sound can come at the end of a

word (dance, mice, face, once, police), words of English origin do not

end with CI. The CI spelling for the /s/ sound is always followed by

another letter: pencil, deficit, appreciate, scissors

? A few rare words end with or contain the unvoiced S sound, but it is

written as a Z: chintz, quartz, eczema, howitzer

Tiger Card

? Tiger - /t/ - spelled T, blank-ED

? The letter T is an unvoiced consonant

? The letter T has one basic sound, the first sound in top:

time, train, last, cotton, title, little, stain, fist

? _ED is an inflected ending that changes a verb to the past

tense; it is pronounced as a /t/ sound if it follows an

unvoiced consonant: asked, backed, taped, shaped, mixed, guessed,

wished

? The letter T is silent in –STLE, -STEN, AND –FTEN: castle, wrestle,

listen, fasten, often, soften

? The letter T is part of the consonant blends TR, TW, and STR: tree,

treat, twice, twinkle, symmetry, strawberry, strike

? In words of French origin, a final T is silent: bouquet, depot, debut;

but when a final silent E is added the T is pronounced: route, suite,

petite, elite, gazette, etiquette

Umbrella Card

? Umbrella - /_/ - spelled U

? The letter U is short when it is within a syllable (cvc, vc):

but, fun, drum, dump, sub-ject, bundle

o Exception: When the consonant following the short

U is an R, the short U sound changes to the ER

sound: fur, turn, burst, turkey, purple, hurry

? In words that begin with U, the U is short if it has a

consonant after it in the same syllable: up, un-der, un-like, un-done

Volcano Card

? Volcano - /v/ - spelled V

? The letter V is a voiced consonant: five, vine, vote, never,

oven, advocate, behavior, adventure, gave

? Unlike other consonants, the letter V is never doubled

when adding a native English suffix: driving, arriving,

evolving, diver

? The letter V never appears at the end of a word without a

silent E: give, live, have, prove, cleave, improve.

o In these words the silent E does not make a single vowel

before it long, rather these words have either a short I or U

sound (glove, love, give, native) or a long OO sound (move,

prove). Vowel teams retain their sounds, however: groove,

waive, heave, receive, sleeve, mauve

Worm Card

? Worm - /w/ - spelled W-blank

? The letter W is a voiced consonant that occurs before

the vowel by itself or as the second member of a

consonant blend: we, went, twelve, twist, swing, dwell

? When the /w/ sound is pronounced a stream of air is

emitted from the lips.

? When W comes before A or O within the syllable the vowel remains

short if followed by G, CK, K, X or NG:

wag, wax, twang, polliwog, quack

o Otherwise, when W comes before A or O withing the syllable,

the short A changes to the short O sound: want, wash, swap

o Or the short O changes to a short U sound: won, wonder,

woman

o If the letter after the changed A or O is R, or R followed by a

different consonant, it changes the short O sound of the A to a

long O sound and it changes the short U sound of the O to the

same sound as in UR: war, warm, warden, world, worse

Fox Card

? Fox - /ks/ - spelled blank-X

? X is a single letter for the consonant blend KS: ox, six,

relax, next, except, oxygen

? The letter X follows a single vowel, the vowel is short.

Scaffolding the Fox card with a green Post-it is

recommended.

o Exceptions: when X follows a vowel team, the team

retains its normal sound: hoax

? When a word ends in the KS blend sound, the letter X keeps the

word from looking like the suffix –s has been added to it: tax/tacks,

lax/lacks

? The letter X is never doubled when adding a suffix since it already

represents two consonant sounds

? In a few unusual words, the letter X sounds like Z: Xerox,

xylophone, xerxes, xenophobia. Do not add this sound to the Zebra

card.

? NOTE: The kindergarten Alphafriend is the Mr. X-ray card and not

the Fox card.

Yo-Yo Card

? Yo-yo -- /y/ -- spelled Y-blank

? This card represents Y in its voiced consonant form at

the beginning of a word or syllable: you, yes, yard, yellow,

lawyer, canyon

? Anywhere else in a word, the letter Y is a vowel

o Y is short within a syllable: gym, symbol

o If the suffix begins with I, the Y remains unchanged since

we never have two I’s in a row in English: crying, flying

o Y is long and sounds like long I when:

? it is the only vowel in the root of the word, and is the

very last letter of the word: by, cry, fly, deny, satisfy

? Y is stressed because of being in a root: cries, denied,

trial

? it is the last letter in a syllable: ty-rant (unless the

word is of Latin origin – cynic)

? it is in the spelling pattern Y_E (type, style) or the vowel

team YE (rye, bye)

? it is stressed before another vowel:

cy-a-nide, hy-a-cinth

o Y is long and sounds like long E when:

? it is unstressed because of being in a suffix: candy,

sandy, happily

? it is unstressed before another vowel: hal-cy-on

Zebra Card

? Zebra - /z/ - spelled Z, blank-S

? The letter Z is a voiced consonant. It is the same sound as

the voiced S, but S is never voiced at the beginning of a

word: zero, zone, zipper, fuzzy, frozen, realize

? The double ZZ always follows a short vowel. There are not

that many words with ZZ but this could be added to the

Zebra card if deemed necessary. Add a green Post-it on

the blank line in front of the ZZ if you do put it on your Sound-

Spelling card: buzz, fizz, puzzle, drizzle, fuzzy

o Exceptions: quiz, whiz, fez

? A voiced S makes the Z sound:

o S between vowels is often voiced: raisin, easy, nose, music

o _S is the most active of English suffixes and is voiced after

vowel sounds: days, bees, ties, shows, news, boys

o _S makes the Z sound after voiced consonants: rubs, heads,

tags, tales, hums, pans, stars, dives, leaves

o When an E is inserted before the S and after S, Z, J, CH, SH

sounds so that the added S can be heard distinctly: passes,

buzzes, bridges, pages, catches, rushes

? The letter Z never appears alone at the end of a word. The

consonant team ZE is used. These occur after a vowel team or a

consonant letter: freeze, gauze, maize, bronze

o Exception: adz

? In a few words preceding a long U sound or an unstressed I sound,

the letter Z makes the ZH sound: azure, brazier, glazier

Sheep Card

? Sheep - /sh/ - spelled SH

? The SH sound is a Germanic sound for which ancient

Latin had no single letter to represent: shape, shed,

rush, mesh, fish, marsh, shrug

? If the S and H belong to different roots, they maintain

their own sounds: grass-hopper, mis-hap, dis-honor

? The SH sound is made by several other spelling patterns. It is not

recommended that these patterns be added to the Sheep card.

o When the SH sound occurs before Latin suffixes it is spelled

–CI, -SCI-, -SI-, -SSI-, or –TI-: spacious, conscience, tension,

passion, partial, ratio, negotiate, nation, clinician, magician

o When the SH sound occurs before an unstressed long U it is

spelled –S- or –SS-: censure, tissue

? The SH sound is spelled with a CH in words recently borrowed from

the French: chic, chef, chauffeur, parachute, mustache, chateau.

As the need arises, a Post-it with the CH spelling may be added to

the Sheep card.

Thumb Card

? Thumb - /th/ - spelled TH

? TH is a consonant team used to spell a sound of Greek

origin. This team can be either voiced or unvoiced.

? TH is voiced:

o At the beginning of the pointing words: the, that,

these, there, then, they, them, thy

o Between vowels in native English words: mother,

feather, either, clothes, bathe, loathe, teething, mouthing

? TH is unvoiced:

o At the beginning of nouns, verbs, and adjectives: thief, thumb,

thank, thin, thump, thing

o When it is the first member of the consonant blend THR:

through, three, thrifty, thread

o At the end of a word: path, death, health, moth, north, south

o In words of Latin origin the unvoiced TH can occur in any

position in a word: therapy, thorax, ethics, sympathy, myth

Whale Card

? Whale - /hw/ - spelled WH-blank

? This is an unvoiced consonant team that appears only at the

beginning of words: when, where, which, why, wheel, whip,

whine, whisper

? When the /hw/ sound is produced, no stream of air is

emitted from the mouth

? In some regions, the WH sound is indistinguishable from the W

sound, except by holding your fingers up in front of your mouth as

you say the words. WH words produce a puff of air when spoken; W

words do not.

? Before a long O or OO sounds, WH sounds like H: who, whom, whose,

whole, whooping

Chick Card

? Chick - /ch/ - spelled CH, blank-TCH

? The CH sound in the word chick did not occur in the

Latin language so CH was used to spell this English

sound: chair, check, chill, chop, chunk, peach, coach,

urchin, merchant

o Exception: In the word yacht, the CH is silent

? TCH is a consonant team for the sound of CH when it

occurs immediately after a short vowel sound in a root word: catch,

etch, ditch, notch, clutch

o Words with TCH are words that can take the English suffixes

–ed, -ing, -er, -es, -y, -en: richer, catcher, etching, ditches,

matched

o Exceptions: some words and syllables have the CH sound after

a short vowel but are not spelled with TCH: which, much, such,

bachelor, detach, attach, duchess

Acorn Card

? Acorn - /_/ - spelled A, A-consonant-silent E, AI, blank-

AY

? The letter A is long and says its name when it is the last

letter in a syllable: ba-by, ta-ble, la-ter, a-corn, ba-king,

cra-dle, fa-tal, va-ca-tion

o When the long A is the last letter in an unstressed

syllable, the long A sound is somewhat muffled,

sounding more like a short U sound: away, across, about,

around, along, dependable, supremacy

o Exceptions: water, any, many, papa

? A is long in the spelling pattern A-consonant-E: bake, cane, be-have,

se-date, con-gre-gate

o This pattern also applies when the consonant space is filled

with the consonant teams NG or ST: change, strange, angel,

paste, taste, hasten

? AI is a vowel team for the long A sound within a root word: mail, tail,

pain, faint, claim, praise, faith

o When AI occurs in an unstressed syllable, it is often muffled

and sounds more like a short U sound: mountain, bargain,

captain, curtain, portrait, certain

? AY is a vowel team for the long A sound at the end of a word or

syllable: pay, day, clay, mayor, prayer, birthday, mayhem

Ice Cream Card

? Ice Cream - /_/ - spelled I, I-consonant-silent E, IE,

IGH, blank-Y

? The letter I is long when it is the last letter in a

syllable: I, bi-ting, i-de-a, de-ci-ded, twi-light, ri-ot,

va-ri-e-ty, bi-o-lo-gy

? The I is long in the spelling pattern I consonant E:

bite, five, white, guide, de-cide, spe-cia-lize

o Exceptions: Words that have I-consonant-E in an

unstressed syllable often have a short I sound: justice, native,

motive, adjective

? IE is long when it is at the end of a root word: pie, tie, lie

? IE is long when the Y of a root word is changed to add a suffix: flies,

cried, replies, denied, satisfied

? IGH is a vowel team for long I. It is left over from old German and

old English spelling: right, light, night, sigh, thigh, knight

? Y makes the long I sound when it is at the end of a root word: cry,

fly, my, sky, reply, deny, satisfy

? Y makes the long I sound when it is before another vowel in a root

syllable: cy-an-ide, hy-e-na

? Y makes the long I sound when it is in the middle of words of Greek

origin: hydrogen, cyclone, stylish, dynasty, hyphen

? When IND, ILD, and IGN are at the end of a word, the I is long and

remains long even when an English suffix is added: kind, mind, child,

sign, signing, wilder, designer. Do not add these spelling patterns to

the Ice Cream card.

Ocean Card

? Ocean - /_/ - spelled O, O-consonant-silent E, OA, OW,

blank-OE

? The letter O is long and sounds like its name when it is

the last letter in a syllable: go, ho-ping, o-pen, to-tal,

mo-tion, ex-plo-sion

o Exceptions: in Latin words the O is often short:

tonic, product, astronomy

? The O is long in the O-consonant-E spelling pattern: hope, tone, pole,

more, remote, explode

o Exceptions: In words of Greek origin, the O_E pattern may be

split over a syllable and the O remains long and the E is also

long: epitome, apostrophe, catastrophe

? OA is a vowel team for the long O sound within a root word: road,

coat, boat, board, throat, hoax, unload, shoal

? OW is a vowel team for the long O sound at the end of a root word

or before a final L or N: know, slow, below, grown, thrown, shadow

o NOTE: There is no way to tell whether the OW is pronounced

as a long O or /ow/ as in cow. Students need to be taught to

try both sounds when decoding.

? _OE is a vowel team for the long O sound at the end of a root word:

hoe, toe, oboe, roe, throes

Unicorn Card

? Unicorn - /_/ - spelled U, U-consonant-silent E,

blank-UE, EW

? The long vowel U sounds like the name of the

letter U and is pronounced /yoo/. The Y sound in

the long U is what distinguishes it from the OO

sound of food. However, this Y sound is not

present in words where the long U sound follows L

or R: brute, flute, fluid, bruin

o This Y sound in the long U sound is also what distorts the S

sound in words like sure, insure, issue, treasure, visual

o Exceptions: In some Latin words ending in U with only one

consonant between the U and the next vowel, the U is long:

accumulate, illuminate; but in others the U is short: stu-dy,

pu-nish, ju-gu-lar

? The letter U is long when it is the last letter in a syllable: u-nit,

fu-el, tu-ning, hu-mor, flu, flu-ent

? The U-consonant-silent E spelling pattern is a long U sound. In

some words you can hear the YOO sound: use, cute, tube, duke,

fortune, compute; and in others you only hear the OO sound

because it is suppressed by the R or L: rule, crude, flute, intrude

? _UE is a vowel team for long U at the end of a root word: blue,

true, statue, value, argue, barbecue, pursue, issue

o Exceptions: When UE follows G or Q in words of French

origin, the UE is silent: league, plaque, catalogue, unique

? EW is a vowel team for long U at the end of a root word or before

a final N: blew, few, grew, hewn, renewal, mildew

? EU is another vowel team for long U, however the Greek, Latin,

and French words that contain this spelling patterns are not

common enough to add to the Sound-Spelling cards.

Eagle Card

? Eagle - /_/ - spelled E, E-consonant-silent E, EE, EA,

blank-Y, blank-IE-blank

? The letter E is long and sounds like the name of the

letter E when it is the last letter in the syllable (open

syllable): he, e-ven, Pe-ter, de-cent, se-cret, pre-vi-ous

o Exceptions: In an unstressed syllable, the long E

sound can become muffled and sound like a short

U (schwa sound): the, belong, remain, behind

? The letter E is long in the prefixes be-, de-, e- pre-, re-, and se-:

report, remain, before, debate, evict, preview, repeat, secrete

? The second E in the E-consonant-silent E spelling pattern remains

silent when a syllable beginning with a consonant is added to a word:

eve, here, compete, precede, theme, supreme

o Exceptions: were, there, where, ere, allege

? Most long E words are spelled with the EE and EA pattern

? EA is a vowel team for the long E sound. It is used primarily within

the root but it can come at the end: each, read, sea, leaf, stream

o Exceptions: The EA pattern can also be the short E sound.

There is no way for the eye to tell which sound is spelled by

EA. Students must be taught to try both sounds if necessary.

o Exceptions: beauty (long U sound), yea (long A sound)

? EE is a vowel team for the long E sound. It is used primarily within

the root but it can also be at the end: see, feet, green, needed, flee

o Exceptions: been, breeches (short I)

? The letter Y spells the long E sound when it is in a suffix, and is the

very last letter of a word: candy, happy, quickly, history, hurrying

? The letter Y spells the long E sound when it is unstressed before

another vowel: hal-cy-on

? The vowel team blank-IE-blank spells the long E sound when it is

within a root word: field, piece, relief, yield, achieve. NOTE: many

of these words end in LD, F, or VE.

? The vowel team IE spells the long E sound when it is a suffix: birdie,

brownie, lassie, eerie

Cook Card

? Cook - /oo/ (short sound) – spelled OO

? OO is a vowel team for the special English sound heard in

the words book and cook. It is the short sound of OO and

occurs in the middle of a word: look, book, cook, good,

crook, wood

? While there is no way for the eye to distinguish between

the OO of cook and the OO of moon, many of these words

end with K or D

Moon Card

? Moon - /oo/ (long sound) – spelled OO

? OO is a vowel team for the special English sound heard in

moon. It is the long sound of OO and occurs both in the

middle and at the end of a root word: zoo, room, school,

food, festoon, reproof, lagoon

? There is no way for the eye to distinguish between the

OO of moon and the OO of cook, so students should be

taught to try both sounds when necessary

Owl Card

? Owl - /ow/ - spelled OW, OU

? OW is a vowel team for the sound in owl at the end of a

syllable or before a final L and N and sometimes before a

final D: cow, prow, tower, howl, down, crowd, powder

o NOTE: There is no way the eye can distinguish

between the OW of owl and the OW of show, so

students should be taught to try both sounds when

necessary

? OU is a vowel team for the sound in owl and house within a word:

loud, proud, count, sour, pronounce, pout

o Exceptions: OU spells a variety of other sounds (four, soul,

though, enough, soup, bought, courage, young, famous) but

students should let context lead them to the correct variation

Boy Card

? Boy - /oy/ - spelled blank-OY, OI

? Blank-OY is the spelling for the vowel team for the

special English sound in boy. It is used at the end of the

root word: toy, joy, annoy, employ, oy-ster, loy-al

? OI is the spelling for this sound within the root word:

toil, coin, point, moisture, sirloin, voice, asteroid

o Exceptions: in the words tortoise and porpoise the

OI is muffled and exhibits the schwa sound (short U)

Saw Card

? Saw - /aw/ - spelled AW, AU

? The vowel team AW is used for the special English sound

in the word saw. It is used at the end of a root word and

before a final L, N, or K. : saw, crawl, draw, awful,

awkward, brawn

? Before consonants other than L, N, or K, and with a root

word, the special English sound in saw becomes AU:

pause, author, daughter, because, jaunt, exhaust

Orange Card

? Orange - /or/ - spelled OR, ORE

? OR occurs in a stressed syllable before a vowel: orator,

orange, forage, authority

? OR occurs followed by a different consonant within a

word: corn, horse, shorter, morning

o Exceptions: or, nor, for

? ORE occurs at the end of a word or syllable: more, core,

before, forethought

Bird Card

? Bird - /er/ - spelled IR, ER, UR

? IR is a vowel team for the special English sound of ER

and can come at the end of a word or within a word

followed by another consonant: sir, fir, bird, dirt,

skirt, birch, twirl, squirrel, confirm

? ER is a vowel team for the special English sound of ER

and can come at the end of a word or within a word followed by

another consonant. ER is also used as a suffix: after, never, paper,

clerk, herd, person, government

? UR is a vowel team for the special English sound of ER and can come

at the end of a word, within a word followed by another consonant, or

doubled between vowels: fur, blur, nurse, curly, surprise, hurry,

curry, murmur,

? When the /er/ sound is pronounced, no stream of air is emitted from

the mouth

Artist Card

? Artist - /ar/ - spelled AR

? AR is a special letter team for the sound in artist. It

occurs at the end of a word or is followed by a different

consonant sound: car, far, jar, art, start, harvest,

garden, carnival

o Exceptions: In unstressed syllables, the AR sound

may sound more like the ER sound: dollar, sugar,

wizard, vinegar, nuclear

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