Getting ready to teach consonant blends but not sure where to start? Try literacy activities, centers, and worksheets to engage kids and help them practice and build their understanding of beginning blends. This post includes fun resources and ideas to help you plan and provide practice to kids.
Using Fun Activities to Teach Consonant Blends
When it’s time to teach consonant blends, it means that students are revving up their reading abilities. How exciting!
Not sure where to start when it comes to consonant blends? We have you covered in introducing, teaching, and assessing in this area. Learn what blends are, why they are important, and how you can use them with students this year.
Table of Contents
- Using Fun Activities to Teach Consonant Blends
- What is a Consonant Blend?
- When do you Teach Consonant Blends?
- How to Teach Consonant Blends
- Activities to Help Teach Consonant Blends
- Consonant Blends Activities for K-2
- More Phonics Ideas & Activities
Common Challenges with Blends
Picture this: Your students are doing great reading and writing CVC words, but they struggle when two consonants are placed side by side. They always leave out one of the letters or can’t quite seem to blend the words as they read.
It can be tricky!
Consonant blend activities will boost their confidence when it comes to blending two sounds together. With practice in small groups or centers, they will read and write longer words quickly.
What is a Consonant Blend?
A consonant blend is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the merging of two or three consonants together to make a new sound. For example, the CL blend creates the sound you hear at the beginning of the word clown.
You can find blends at the beginning, middle, or end of a word. In primary grades, kids will first focus on learning the blends that the beginning of words, before learning others.
When do you Teach Consonant Blends?
If you aren’t sure when to teach blends and the order of teaching phonics skills, consider the complexity of words students in primary grades will be working on. Students usually start with CVC words and then add in word families (which include consonant blends). After that, they usually move on to digraphs.
When students are confident in their CVC reading and writing abilities, it’s time to add consonant blends and corresponding word families. This skill is taught in kindergarten through second grade, depending on student needs.
How to Teach Consonant Blends
Before starting a lesson on blends, make sure students know how to segment words and sounds. This is done through practice with CVC words. Break apart words into their individual sounds and then piece them back together. For example, take the word CAT and break it into chunks, C-A-T.
Teachers often use sound boxes as a visual aid for segmenting words. You can easily create one by drawing a rectangle split into boxes needed for the words you are working on. Once your kids have mastered segmenting with CVC words, you can move to words with blends.
- Start by providing students with a sound box or manipulatives to move as they make each sound. Then, give them the word. Let’s say we are working on the word PLAN.
- Have students write each sound they hear into their sound boxes or move their object as they say each sound. They should separate PL-A-N.
- Next, have them read the word slowly, a little faster, and then super fast. This might look like this: PL-A-N, PL-AN, PLAN!
- Repeat over and over with new words. Try to stay in the same word family for fluency before moving on to something new.
Activities to Help Teach Consonant Blends
An easy way to teach consonant blends is to use a variety of activities to scaffold learning. You can do this by using our Consonant Blends resources for L, R, & S blends. In each resource, there are multiple activities (centers and worksheets) to choose from, as well as posters and assessment tools.
Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll find.
Consonant Blend Posters
Print, laminate, and use posters as a teaching tool and for easy reference during your consonant blend study. Visuals help kids remember and understand each blend as they are taught.
There are a variety of posters, cards, and visuals included for each blend.
Sorting Cards by Blend
Use picture and word cards to facilitate whole group or small group lessons by sorting them appropriately in a pocket chart. They also make for great read-and-write activities around the room or place them on a ring for students to use during independent times.
Consonant Blend Readers & Mini-Books
Students can use mini-books to read, trace, and draw as they learn about the corresponding consonant blend. Once they are finished, they can take the book home to read and share for further practice.
There are two types of mini-books included for each blend.
- Read, Draw, & Color Book
- Read, Trace, & Draw Mini-Books
Consonant Blend Worksheets
Worksheets are an effective tool for learning word blends. They provide the practice kids need to solidify this new understanding. They are also great because students can complete them independently and at their own pace.
There are a variety of fun worksheets included for each blend, as well as mixed blends.
- Blend sentences
- word work
- Color by Blend
- Read & Write the Room booklet
- Fill In Sentences
- Fill in the blends
- Spin & Color
Hands-on Blend Activities & Centers
Learning and practicing consonant blends through hands-on activities and centers is valuable. When students can work together with peers to complete an activity, it fosters their teamwork and social skills, while building understanding of the concept.
There are many fun and engaging blend activities included that you can use as centers.
- playdough mats
- tie & hat craft
- 2 and 3-piece puzzles
- spell the picture cards
To determine whether a child has grasped the concept of consonant blends and which they can read and identify, an assessment is needed. Have students segment, blend, and read words aloud for you to observe. Ask them also to spell words during a formal assessment or writing activity.
The assessments in these resources (sticker books and spelling books) make it easy for students to self-check what they know and for the teacher to note what each child knows. There are also take-home assessments so parents can join in the fun.
Consonant Blends Activities for K-2
Try the Consonant Blends resources by Proud to be Primary. There are three different sets to cover L blends, R blends, and S blends. Each comes with centers, crafts, activities, worksheets, posters, and tons of printables that facilitate learning in the classroom. They make teaching blends simple and effective!
- L Blend Activities Bundle
- S Blend Activities Bundle
- R Blend Activities Bundle
- Save with the Mega Bundle of L, S, & R Blend Activities
Free Sample of CL Blends Centers and Worksheets
Try our CL Blends resource sample in your classroom with this FREE download. Use them in centers or small groups to work on blending CL words!
Click the image below to grab a copy.
More Phonics Ideas & Activities
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