Thursday, March 13, 2014

Silent Letter Spellings

Explicit Phonics Lesson
Silent Letter Spellings
kn-, wr-, gn-, -mb
Day 1
Phonemic Awareness:
          Most consonants have a sound in words. But some consonants are silent in some words. Our language is always changing. Usually, the way we say the words changes over time, but the spelling of the words will remain the same. Some of the most common silent letter spellings are k in the spelling kn, w in wr, and g in gn, b in  mb, t in tch, of course the silent e in the vce spelling pattern. We could think of these as ghost letters. They are in the word, but they don’t say anything.
          In Old English the k in the kn spelling was pronounced hundreds of years ago. Instead of saying know as we say today, they used to say /k/ /n/ /o/. Instead of saying gnaw as we do today they said /g/ /n/ /aw/.
          Let’s look at some of the key words for these silent letter spellings. (Write the words on the board highlighting the silent letters in each):

know            gnaw            sign             write           lamb            talk             name

           Use two colors of markers to write or words one spelling at a time on the board. After each spelling say, ”sound” as the class makes the sound for that spelling. When all the spellings are on the board for that word go back and have the class chorally sounds out the words again. Say, “blend” and as you use your finger to underline the word, the class blends the words as a group.

                   knot             knit             know            knob           
                   comb            limb             thumb         numb
                   write           wrap            wrist           wreck
                   gnaw            gnu              gnarled         sign

          After the words are decoded, briefly discuss the meanings of the words that may be unfamiliar to the students. Reread the lines of words with the class. Then give clues and have the students tell their buddy which word is the answer. Call on one set of buddies to give and spell the answer. Circle or check the words on the board as they are given as answers. Clues could be:

1.     The opposing digit on your hand                                  thumb
2.    synonym for understand                                              know
3.    the joint where the hand is connected to the arm        wrist
4.    to have no sense of feeling                                         numb
5.    Something tied in a rope                                             knot
6.    A large wooly mammal                                                  gnu
7.    Synonym for twisted                                                   gnarled
8.    This is turned to open a door                                      knob
9.    To cover up on all sides                                               wrap
10. Something destroyed by accident or by weather           wreck
11.  A tool used to untangle hair                                        comb
12. Part of a tree that is smaller than the trunk
                   but bigger than a twig                                   limb
13. Synonym for chew                                                       gnaw
14. A way to communicate                                                 write
15. A type of material used for clothing                           knit

The last word (sign) is read by all students and they each use the word in a sentence telling their partner.

Reading Decodable Text:
          Practice reading with the students the silent letter words on the Decoding Practice page. Have buddy A read to buddy B. Then B will read to A.

Day 2

What are “ghost letters?” letters that are silent in words
Name a word that a ghost letter or letters and tell me what the ghost letter(s) is.
What letter is silent in these words? (Have the words on cards or written on the board.)           write           gnaw            know            limb             sign

          Write the following words on the board as the students sound and blend the into words ( See Day 1. Use the buddy strategy for more student engagement.)

          crumb          tomb            lamb            dumb 
          knew            knife           kneel           knee
          gnash           gnat             gnome          resign
          wreath         wrench         wrinkle        wren

Use these clues or make up your own with an emphasis on vocabulary expansion. The words in parenthesis are for a second clue if the class has trouble.

1.     Antonym for vocal                                                       dumb
2.    Synonym for grave                                                      tomb
3.    Joint in the middle of the leg                                     knee
4.    Synonym for understood                                              knew
5.    A make-believe little man                                           gnome
6.    To declare that you are quitting                                  resign
7.    To grind together                                                      gnash
8.    Mutton comes from this animal                                    lamb
9.    A sharp utensil                                                           knife
10. A tiny left over piece                                                 crumb
11.  To put your weight on your knees                                kneel
12. Antonym for smooth                                                   wrinkle
13. A decoration hung on the door                                     wreath
14. A tiny flying insect                                                     gnat
15.  A small bird                                                               wren

The last word (wrench) is read by all students silently. They each use the word in a sentence telling their partner.

Reading Decodable Text:
          Have the student Buddies practice reading the Fluency Phrases. (You will have to copy at least one sheet for each pair of students.)

Day 3

          Which letter is silent in the kn spelling? k
          Which letter is silent in the gn spelling? g
          Which letter is silent in the wr spelling? w
          Which letter is silent in the –mb spelling? b
          What do we call the letters that are silent in words? Ghost letters
          What is the sound represented with the kn spelling?  /n/
          What is the sound represented with the gn spelling? /n/
          What is the sound represented with the wr spelling? /r/
          What is the sound represented with the –mb spelling? /m/
          Sometimes the letter t can also be a ghost letter as in castle.

Ghost Sightings
Find a silent letter in each of these words.
Have the following words displayed:
          nestle          whistle        bomb           knock           wrote          knelt 
          bristle         rustle          plumbing      knead           wrath          knuckle
Locate two or three silent letters in each of the words:
          knife           gnome          wrestle        rewrite        crumble
          Use the dictation procedure.
          /r/ wr                   /r/ r            /n/ gn          /n/ kn          /m/ mb
          knit             knot             knock
          gnat             gnash           gnome
          plumbing      wrestling
          The gnome wrestled with the knot in the rope.

Reading Decodable Text:
          Have the student Buddies practice reading the Decoding Practice page and the Fluency Phrases. (You will have to copy at least one sheet for each pair of students or have the text sheets as transparencies on the overhead.)

Day 4
Name some of the spellings that have a silent letter that we have studied this week. kn, gn, wr, mb
Which one is usually found at the end of words? mb
What do we call the silent letters in words? Ghost letters

“Chunking” Words:
          Write these words on the board one at a time. Circle syllables and have the students read the syllable. Once all syllables are circled, blend the syllables into words. (Always discuss word meanings when deemed necessary.)

resign                    rewritten              designing               unwrapped  
knowledge              doorknob               knapsack               kneecap
unknowingly            plumber                
Reading Decodable Text:
          Provide students with copies of Fluency Sentences. Have them locate and circle words with the silent letters. Then practice reading the sentences with the buddy strategy.

Day 5
          Review quickly the R-control vowel spellings using the sound spelling cards. Using about eight word cards, have Buddy A read the first word and tell a sentence using the word to Buddy B. Call on one Buddy A to share their sentence. Then for the next card, Buddy B reads and tells a sentence using the word to Buddy A. Continue until all the word cards have been used.

          Use the dictation procedure:
          /m/ m          /m/ mb        /r/ wr          /n/ kn          /n/ gn
          lamb            limb             thumb
          wrote          wrath          wrist
          knife           knock           knelt
          doorknob               knockout     
          Knox hurt his thumb and wrist in the wrestling match.

Reading Decodable Text:
          Reread Fluency Phrases and Fluency Sentences using the buddy strategy.

Decoding Practice

   write       wrist       gnat        know        knee
   knot        knife       comb       thumb     numb

comb the tangles                    gnaw on his knuckles
wrap his wrist                         a numb thumb

1. The plumber left a wrench behind.

2. She wrote a note to the gnome at the castle.

3. Knees, knuckles, and wrists are all joints.

4. The little wren mad her nest way out on a limb.

5. The lamb wriggled out between the fence boards.

6. The knave knelt to his knees to tie a knot in the rope.

Fluency Phrases

1.      wreck the ship
2.    wring out the rag
3.    wrenched his wrist
4.    know the knave
5.    wrestle in the dirt
6.    climb to the limb
7.    hang a wreath
8.    a pesky gnat
9.    the gnu at the zoo
10.      more to know
11.       wrote a note
12.      not a crumb left
13.      my left knee
14.      a wrinkled shirt
15.      work on the plumbing
16.      the king’s castle
17.      nestle in the bed
18.      gnash your teeth
19.      known for his wrath
20.    knobby knees
21.      sign your name
22.    under my thumb
23.    lamb knew where
24.    wrap up the knapsack

Sentence Fluency

1.           The wrench was left behind by the plumber.
2.         Hang up the shirt so it won’t wrinkle.
3.         His thumb was numb after the wreck.
4.         My sister knit a wrap for Mom to wear.
5.         When he knelt the leaves rustled.
6.         Do you know how to tie a knot?
7.         I gnawed my knuckles in fear of his wrath.
8.         His tomb is just outside of the castle.
9.         We knew the train was near because we could hear it whistle.
10.      Don’t go out on a limb if you don’t know the answer.
11.       The knowledge of the wreck left me numb.
12.      He was to knock on the door and leave the knapsack on the step.
13.      Catch a lamb and wrestle it to the ground.
14.      The teacher wrote a note to the plumber about the plumbing problem.