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Teaching split digraphs e.g. a_e e.t.c

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by smile!, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Just wondering how you go about teaching the split digraphs? How do you intriduce them and what do yuo say to the children. Would really like some tips, thanks!!!
  2. Just wondering how you go about teaching the split digraphs? How do you intriduce them and what do yuo say to the children. Would really like some tips, thanks!!!
  3. 'ie' is code for the /igh/ sound and 'i-e' is code for the /igh/ sound.

    Take examples like 'pie' and 'pine' to explore this. Use your index finger to track under the 'p' and then use your index finger along with your middle finger to point under the 'i' and 'e' simultaneously as you sound out /igh/ and then end on pointing under the 'n' and saying /n/.

    You can repeat this exercise with 'ee', 'ae', 'oe' and 'ue'.

    The 'ue' grapheme can be code for the long /oo/ sound and /y+oo/ sound.

    'cue' becomes 'cute'.

    Perhaps use 'true' to make 'truce' - or if you want to avoid 'soft c' at this stage, use 'true' and 'rule'.

    You can also show that an additional 'e' on the end of some words alerts the reader to sound out the first vowel letter with its long vowel sound.

    I would have already addressed the concept of short vowel sounds and long vowel sounds at an earlier stage. I would have introduced the Alphabet as being our bank of letters in which some are special letters called vowel letters.

    These letters a, e, i, o, u can be code for the short vowel sounds as in 'at', 'enter', 'in', 'on' and 'up' or long vowel sounds as in 'table', 'me', 'kind', 'old' and 'unit'.

    This means that graphemes 'ie', 'oe', 'ae', 'ee' and 'ue' are simply code for the long vowel sounds as are the split digraphs.

    Having already introduced that the letters a, e, i, o, u can be code for the long vowel sounds, it isn't hard to look at the first letter in the digraphs and split digraphs to know what sound they represent.

    You would use your digraph flash cards and explain the configuration of 'a-e', 'e-e', 'i-e', 'o-e' and 'u-e' by highlighting these parts in words using your fingers as described to track.

    Regarding sounding out - teach children to sound out any single vowel letters in their short vowel sound first and then if that doesn't make a 'real' word, try the long vowel sound.

    This enables them to be flexible readers and read many words of the 'me, he, she' variety and 'mind, find, kind, mild, wild' and 'old, gold, most' etc.

    I'm not sure that I have described all that very well.

  4. I've found that some of my 'strugglers' have responded best to me initially spelling out a word like 'tube' or 'like' with letter tiles, using the digraphs they already know, in this case, 'ue' and 'ie' and then physically cutting the tiles in half and moving the 'e' to the end, literally splitting it with the final consonant. Then they do this themselves. Not sure how this would work in a class situation but maybe you could adapt it.

    I sometimes ask the children to circle the newly learnt grapheme in a sentence and the split digraph can present problems when doing that! But one of my pupils found a way round it - he links the circles of the two vowels so that they end up looking like a pair of headphones, which at least makes it memorable!

    Hope this helps!
  5. I did it this way because my little ones just did not get it all the other ways I tried.

    To teach the split digraph i_e

    Once upon a time there was a letter and his name was 'i' [Child with a big laminated i on his chest] and he met up with a letter called 'e' (another child with an 'e') and they held hands and went for a walk. (Children go for a walk) Now 'i' loved telling people his name (ask child his name) but 'e' wouldnt talk at all. (Ask child his name but child wont talk) He was soooo quiet. One day a little consonant came along and he was a very naughty consonant because he wouldnt say his name, (another child with 'p') he just kept making a sound p, p, p he wanted to join 'i' and his friend 'e' so he went up to them and held hands. So 'p' and 'ie' went for a walk...(ASK THE CHILDREN TO BLEND 'pie')

    Suddenly another very very naughty consonant arrived and he wanted to join in. He wouldnt say his name either he just kept saying llllllll. (Another child with 'l' on his chest). Now 'l' wanted to go for a walk too but he didnt want to go at the end next to the 'e' who wouldnt talk so he went up to the 'ie' and he made them step apart ...he split them up and he squeezed inbetween them. 'i' and 'e' still to hold hands behind 'l'

    Now ask each child in turn their name....first one says 'p' sencond says 'I' third one says 'l' and last one wont talk. What is the word? PILE.

    Now give children some more smaller cards to make some more split digraph words.

    mile, tile, mine, wine, etc

    Have plenty of words and plenty of letters to enable them to do this ( you could use magnetic letters)

    Children actually loved acting this out and I did it with all the split digraphs over a week. I can honestly say they all totally 'get' it now.

    (I got some of the big letters out of the old PIPs book, laminated them and hole punched two holes at the top. I thread some string round and tied it so they could be put over the child's neck)

  6. Is this for Reception or year 1?
  7. Please tell me you're not this far on in reception.

  8. No I'm not. I'm in Reception and we have learnt all sounds and diagraphs and we are now learning HF words and tricky words. I am just concerned that I should have been further on when I read that post. When should you teach alternative spellings and split diagraphs?
  9. It depends entirely on which phonics programme you are following and how quickly you have decided to follow it! You need to be guided by your own circumstances.

    You can see the alternative spellings and pronunciations taught in my online programme by looking at the grey shading or the first five units in my Alphabetic Code charts. (These charts are useful with anyone else's programme.)

    I also introduce split digraphs informally as the need arises as many early books include words such as 'made' and 'make' and 'like' etc.
  10. We are teaching children in phases across Reception, year one and year two. I have a mixed group of year ones and twos working on phase 5.
  11. This is brilliant! Many thanks. J
  12. Would you like some resources for the children to practise Split Digraph words?
    email: margaret2612@btinternet.com
  13. I think they've probably 'got it' by now, mags. You've resurrected a 5 year old thread...
  14. millieta

    millieta New commenter

    Please can I ask to share your split digraph resources Mags if you still have them?

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