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Decoding: Consonant Blending and Digraphs

Decoding: Consonant
Blending and Digraphs
Objective:
The  students  will  decode  unfamiliar  words  that  contain  consonant  blends  and  digraphs  by
blending them with the remaining sounds/parts of the words.
Materials:
•  Reading material at the students’ instructional reading level
•  For examples of blends and digraphs, see Appendix D
Lesson:
Preview the book, finding words with blends and/or digraphs that may be unfamiliar to the
students. Then,
1.  Conduct a comprehension/vocabulary preview (see steps 1–3 of the sample
lesson).
2.  Instruct the students that one way to read words that contain two consonants side
by side (blends) or words with two consonants that make one sound (digraphs
such as /th/), is to say the sounds of the two consonants or the digraph and blend
the sounds with the sounds of the other parts of the word (i.e., say them quickly,
one right after the other).
3.  Instruct the students to look carefully at any unfamiliar word to identify word or vowel
patterns before they say the sounds of the letters/patterns. For example, to decode street
through blending, students should blend the /s/ and /t/. Then the student can say all
the sounds, /st/, /r/, /ee/, /t/, blend them, and state the word, street.
4.  Practice a few words in isolation.
5.  Ask the students to begin reading. Tell them that as they come to unfamiliar
words, they should try blending the sounds together to read the word.
6.  Tell students who misread a word to return to the beginning of the sentence
containing the misread word and read the entire sentence again correctly.
7.  Encourage comprehension by asking students questions about the content of the story.
Adaptations:
Because of the patterned nature of the English language, blending works best with parts of
the word (beginning consonants and ending consonants, for example). It will be very difficult
for students to be successful in decoding if they use blending as their only strategy. Rather,
blending is much more successful when it is coupled with other decoding strategies to read
entire words

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