Consonant for kindergarten

Consonant for kindergarten DEFAULT

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Vowels are the mainstay of any language; they are the sounds you sing in words.  If you want to teach a child to read, you need to know how to teach vowels.  

How to Teach Vowels

What Are Vowels?

Vowels come from the Latin word vox meaning “voice” because they are the sounds you produce strictly from running air over your vocal chords.  Linguists would say they require no friction–you don’t need to use your tongue, teeth, or lips to produce the sound.  You do need to adjust the shape of your mouth to make different vowel sounds–but more on that later.   

You can hardly give your child a linguistic definition and expect her to know her vowels…so where do you start?  Easy!  You start with fun and games.

How to Teach Vowels: Preschool

Here are some tips and tricks on how to teach vowels to preschoolers.

Start with the names of the vowels

One easy way to teach the vowels is by changing the words to “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”  (Don’t worry, Mr. MacDonald is fine with it.)  When you teach this song to your child, skip the random “e, i, e, i, o” and swap it out for the names of the vowels “a, e, i, o, u.”  You can start this very early–and it creates a “memory peg” to make formally learning the vowels much easier later on.

Make the vowels visually distinct

The best way to teach letters is to start with three-dimensional, tactile letters that a child can touch and feel.  Sets that have the vowels in a different color will help your little learner group these special letters together.  

Get Leap to help you out

I am all for hands-on, parent-child learning, but this 35-minute cartoon is a reading goldmine.  In Letter Factory, Leap the frog and his family travel to a factory where letters are made.  The letters all say their sounds–including the vowels–and your kids can learn the song to memorize them. 

I know there are a lot of reading shows on PBS Kids and so forth, but none can touch Letter Factory in terms of helping kids memorize the sounds of the letters.  Put this video on three times a week and watch the magic happen.

How to Teach Vowels

How to Teach Vowels: Kindergarten

When your child is ready to sit and learn to read, you need to know how to teach vowels in a formal way.  At this point, your child should know the names of the vowels.  You may want to teach them as “a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y,” if your reading program introduces words like my, fly, and by immediately.  

Some people like to add “w” to the list of “sometimes vowels” (since it technically acts as a vowel in words like cow), but I say keep it simple and leave it out.  Beginning readers start with C-V-C words (consonant-vowel-consonant words like cat); there is plenty of time to introduce vowel pairs and diphthongs (like /oi/ and /ow/) as they grow in their skills.

Start with the short sounds

I like to begin by teaching just the short sounds of the vowels (the sounds in the words cat, met, sip, tot, and cup).  If you are teaching your child phonics (decoding the sounds the letters make), then these short vowel sounds are the ones your child will encounter first in C-V-C words.  Teaching multiple sounds at once is just confusing.  You can easily add the long vowel sounds in later (after all, in the long vowel sounds, each letter just says its name. “A” says its name in late.)

Use a mirror

Get your child a small hand mirror to observe the shape of his mouth as he says (or sings) the short vowel sounds.  Young children notoriously confuse the short vowel sounds of “e” and “i.”  By using a mirror, you will get your child to focus on how he forms the sounds–and the slight variations he needs to make with his mouth to make the correct sound.

Introduce the vowels one at a time

Some reading programs throw your child in the deep end right away, asking them to recall all the vowel sounds at once.  Instead, look for a program that moves incrementally by teaching words together that all have the same vowel sound.  You can also buy supplemental readers that focus predominantly on one vowel sound (like BOB books).  

Move on to the long sounds

Once your child has mastered short-vowel C-V-C words like Sam, she is ready to learn the long vowels and the magic of the silent “e.”  You can teach this informally using letter tiles or alphabet blocks.  Form the short vowel word (like Sam) and say it.  Then show how when you add a silent “e” to the end of the word, it casts a magic spell that changes the vowel sound to make it long.  Sam becomes same.  Play this “magic trick” with short vowel “a” words again and again (over several days) until your child gets the hang of it.  You can then move on to the other vowels (pet becomes Pete).  

How to Teach Vowels

Teaching Vowels

Teaching the vowels is simple as long as you remember to be consistent about it–and keep it fun!  Whether it is letter game play or formal reading time, aim for 5-15 minutes a day.  Soon your little learner will be reading to you!

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Consonant Blends Activities for Kindergarten

Once your Kindergarten students learn how to blend, spell, and read CVC words fluently, you may be wondering, well where do I go from here? The next phonics skill that I work on with my students are digraphs or consonant blends. Today, I am going to show you some of my favorite consonant blend activities for Kindergarten students. You can use these consonant blend activities in your whole group lesson, as a center activity, or independent work! 

Consonant Blends Activities for Kindergarten

What is a Consonant Blend?

Consonant Blends are two letters that make two sounds that form a blend. The most common blends are L- blends, like “block” or “claw”, R- blends, like “crab” or “frog”, and S- blends, like “scare” and “smell”. They are two separate phonemes (sounds) but we teach these phonemes together because they “blend” together when sounding them out. Here you can find a list of all the consonant blends we teach in Kindergarten.

Digraphs and Consonant Blends visual

Grab this visual here for free!

Consonant Blends Activity #1: Matching Mats

The first skill you will want to teach is how to identify the blend in a word. You can practice this orally by saying a word, “fly” and then asking your students what blend they heard- “fl”. 

This Matching Mats activity is a great way to begin identifying the blend and knowing the pattern and sound that goes with it. Students will look at their mat, and then identify the blend for each picture. They will find that matching blend and stick it next to the picture. I like using velcro for this activity so students can reuse it over and over again.

Try a sample of this activity for free!

Consonant Blends Activity #2: Picture Sort

Consonant Blends can be tricky for students to know the difference between each blend. Students need to be able to sort pictures based on what blend they hear in the word. 

This picture sort activity can be used to identify the blend in a word. Students will look at the picture, then sort it under the correct matching blend. It is helpful to do similar spelled blends together, like bl, cl, and gl or bl and br blends. 

Consonant Blends Activity #3: Roll and Read

Next, you will want to practice reading words with blends. I suggest starting with words that have short vowel word family endings, like “flag” or “crib”. If you want to challenge your students more, you can add in CVCe word family endings. 

Consonant Blends Activity for Kindergarten- Roll and Read

Roll and read can be used as a whole group activity, during centers, or as independent work. Students will roll a dice, then read a word underneath the matching number. 

Consonant Blends Activity #4: Magnet Mats

In Kindergarten, you do not need to focus on having your students be able to spell the entire word, but getting the blend spelled correctly. They can always spell the word phonetically, but should be able to have the blend spelled correctly. Once they are in First Grade, then they will learn how to spell more words with consonant blends.

Magnet Mats are a hands-on way to practice spelling those blends. Students will take a card, look at the picture, and identify the blend. Then, using magnets, they will spell the blend. 

Looking for digital resources? Check out these resources here: 

Google Slides: Consonant Blends Activities

Boom Cards: Consonant Blends Task Cards

You can find the Digraphs and Consonant Blends Phonics Unit for Kindergarten here that includes all of these activities. 

Click here for the Kindergarten Consonant Blends and Digraphs unit

If you teach First Grade, I have a separate unit for each. The Digraphs Unit covers both beginning and ending digraphs, along with more spelling activities. The Consonant Blends Unit covers both beginning and ending consonant blends, along with additional spelling activities. 

If you are looking for more activities and how to practice digraphs, check out this blog post here: 4 Activities to Practice Digraphs in Kindergarten.

Shop all Consonant Blends Resources here

Filed Under: activities, consonant blends, literacy centers, phonics, phonics curriculum, worksheets

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Consonant facts for kids

For "consonant" in a musical sense see Consonance and dissonance

All the letters in the alphabet are either consonants orvowels. A consonant is a speech sound in which the air is at least partly blocked, and any letter which represents this. Consonants may come singily (by themselves) or in clusters (two or more together), but must be connected to a vowel to form a syllable.

Notice that the consonant (C) and vowel (V) notation does NOT match the letters of English spelling in a one-to-one relationship (e.g. 'th' is one sound), but rather individual sounds.

Words with single consonants include:

  • Go (CV), which has one consonant and one vowel in that order
  • On (VC), which has one vowel and one consonant in that order
  • Ton (CVC), which has a consonant, a vowel, and another consonant in that order

Words with consonant clusters include:

  • Pro (CCV), which has two consonants in-a-row and one vowel afterwards
  • Old (VCC), which has one vowel and two consonants in-a-row afterwards
  • Spree (CCCV), which has three consonants in-a-row and one vowel afterwards
  • Arcs (VCCC), which has one vowel and three consonants in-a-row afterwards
  • Strengths (CCCVCCCCC), which has three consonants in-a-row, one vowel afterwards, and finally five consonants in a row

Consonants have friction when they are spoken, mostly using the position of the tongue against the lips, teeth and roof of the mouth. b and p are plosives, using the lips to produce a tiny sharp sound. Phonetics texts give more details, with diagrams. Consonants may be voiced or unvoiced. The th in the is voiced, but in breath is not.

  • There are 21 consonant letters in English, for 24 consonant sounds in most English accents.p242 Because of the history of the English language, there is no neat one-to-one relationship between letter and sound. th and ch each stand for a single sound, and x in fox stands for two sounds (ks). All these letters are consonants:
B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, (sometimes Y), and Z. "Y" is often used as a consonant, but it is sometimes used as a vowel. For example, in the word yellow, y is a consonant. But in the word happy, y is a vowel.
  • The rest of the letters of the alphabet are called vowels. Vowels are underdone, for there are about 20 vowel sounds in most English accents.p237 The vowels are:
A, E, I, O, U (and sometimes Y)
Consonants and Vowels for Kids

Kindergarten Level 2 Phonics Worksheets

word family 'ig'

sentence with word family 'ig'
Learn to read short sentences with word family 'ig'

Click here to print

word family 'og'

sentence with word family 'og'
Learn to read a sentence with word family 'og'

Click here to print

word family ox

sentence with word family 'ox'
Learn to read a sentence with the word family 'ox'

Click here to print

ending digraphs

twin ending digraphs ll, ss
Learn how twin ending consonants digraphs ll, ss

Click here to print

ending blends, digraphs

ending blends, digraphs, nd, nk, nt, ng
Learn the ending consonants blends, digraphs with 'n'

Click here to print


Kindergarten consonant for


Consonant Song


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