Part 3: Reading (blending)

How to blend words - part 2

When blending words with digraphs, the children have to remember to look at the two letters and say the one sound. This more complicated skill is mastered when regular words, using the digraphs, are practised. For example, flash cards can be made of regular ‘ai’ words, like ‘pain, rain, train, Spain, hail, snail’, etc., so that when the ‘ai’ sound has been taught they can be held up for the children to sound out aloud and blend.

Another way to develop speedy blending is to snap together the onset of the word (the initial consonants) and the vowel. Use the short vowels first, followed by the long vowels, e.g.

ba be bi bo bu

fra fre fri fro fru

cha che chi cho chu

Initially the blending of words is done with the sounds being called out aloud. Gradually the children are encouraged to blend silently in their head. This promotes fluency for reading.