Thursday, August 18, 2016

How I TEACH Open and Closed Syllables

I used to have the hardest time teaching students the difference between open and closed syllables.
Finally I came up with a lesson that clicked for them and for me.
First make sure your students know what a syllable is, have a strong foundation for vowels and consonants, and letter names.

I start with a word like cat.
I write it big on my white board.
Then I say look at this word.
How many vowels are in this word?  one.
If there is one vowel then how many syllables is this word?  one
Now we need to find out the name for this type of syllable.
Point to the vowel. Student points to the a.
What do vowels do to your mouth?  open it.
Point to the letter after the vowel. Student points to the t
Is this a vowel or a consonant?  consonant
What do consonants do to your mouth?   close your mouth.
So in this syllable, my mouth opens for the vowel but then closes for the consonant.
Any idea what we might name this syllable?  closed syllable
If no one guesses,  tell students, we call this syllable is called a closed syllable.  One vowel followed by one or more consonants is a closed syllable.

Then I show them a word like go.
We are going to learn another syllable type today.
Look at this word.
How many vowels are in this word?  one.
If there is one vowel then how many syllables is this word?  one
Now we need to find out the name for this type of syllable.
Point to the vowel. Student points to the o.
What do vowel do with your mouth?  open it.
Point to the letter after the vowel.  Is there a letter after the vowel?  NO.
So what is your mouth left doing?  hanging open.
Hmmm.  What could we call this syllable?  open syllable!
That's right when a syllable ends in vowel it is open and the vowel says it's name.

Here is an activity that you can use to practice sorting open and closed syllables.  It is not important for students to be able to read these words.  They do not need to know all of their letters and sounds at this point.  Just use the question like above for each word.  I just want them to start looking for syllables.





Point to the vowel.
Is there a consonant right after it?
Then is it open or closed?
Get this activity here.


After students are really good at recognizing the difference between and open and closed syllable, we talk about how in a closed syllable the vowel sound is short, in an open syllable, the vowel sound is long.  I use these houses to help.  You can show them on a closed syllable word, the door is closed by the consonant and the vowels sound is cut short.  In an open syllable the door is wide open and the vowel can shout it's name.




I hope these suggestions help for teaching this tricky skill!
Let me know how it worked for you in the comments or email me at 180daysofreading@gmail.com
Amy

You might also like to read:

How I teach syllables.  This is the lesson I teach before this one. 
How I teach the difference between vowels and consonants



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