Open Syllables

Introduction Lesson

Review Cards

Sound Cards  – pull out beginning consonant cards, a, i, o, u, e, th, sh, ch, wh, ang, ing, ong, ung, ank, ink, onk, unk, y, qu, ck, tch, ai, ay, ee, ea, ar, or, ind, ild, old, ost, oa, er, ur, ir, oe, ow, ed, oo, ey, ou, oi, oy, igh, ie, ph

“When I hold up a letter, say the letter’s name and give its sound.”


Step 1

“Good job!  We are going to learn something new today.”

Say, “Today we are going to learn about open and closed syllables.”

Using the letter tiles, build the word got.  

Say, “What is this syllable? Got is a closed syllable. It is closed because there is just one vowel (point to the vowel o) and… that vowel is closed in by the consonant t.” (move the letter t back and forth so student can visualize the t closing the o).  

“What vowel sound do you hear in the word got? Yes you hear an /ŏ/Watch me as I take away the letter t.” Move the letter t away from the word got. “This new word is go. The vowel o makes the long sound. In an open syllable, the vowel can take a long walk – and make its long sound, because there is no consonant to close the vowel. Can you please take the o tile and show me how it takes a long walk?” 

“Lets try another word.” Build the word met with the letter tiles. “What is the vowel in this word? Yes, it is the vowel e. What sound does the vowel e make? That’s right it makes an ĕ  soundIs this an open or a closed syllable? (closed)  “Why?”  (because the consonant letter t closes the vowel so it can’t take a long walk.) Remove the letter t. “What sound does the vowel e make now? Thats right it makes an ē  sound. Is this an open or closed syllable? (open) “Why?” (because the vowel does not have a consonant next to it to close it so it can take a long walk.) “Can you please show me how the vowel e takes a long walk?” (have student pick up the letter e and walk it around).


Student Workbook page 3 – open syllables – go, me, cry

“When I hold up the picture page, I want you to read the word and then give the vowel sound. Watch me as I demonstrate.”

go, //; me //; cry //

Have student repeat 3 times.


Step 2

Phonological Awareness

Chant or sing this sentence with your student until they know it well.

-Every syllable has to have a vowel-

“What does every syllable have to have? (a vowel). Does a closed syllable have a vowel? (yes) Does an open syllable have a vowel?” (yes)


Step 3

Sound Squares

Use the back cover of the Student Workbook and Sound Markers for this activity.

Say “How many sounds do you hear in this word spy? Repeat the word and bring down a sound marker for each sound you hear. Remember to use white sound markers for consonant sounds and green sound markers for the vowel sound. Touch each marker and say its sound. Then glide your finger under the markers and say the whole word fast.”

Repeat this activity with:

he, we, no, go, spider, try, bonus, spy, before, music


Step 4

Red Words   

Review and Drill  


Step 5


Student Workbook page 4 –  Word List: open syllables

“Put your finger under the first word. Read the word.”

Repeat with the remaining words, reading left to right.  


Step 6

Sound Dictation

Student Workbook page 7 – Sounds

“Say /ō/. What letters make the /ō/ sound? With your finger, write the letter that says /ō/ on your palm. Now write the letter o on your paper, naming it as you write. Now, look at the letter you just wrote. What is the name of this letter? What sound does it make?”

Repeat with the following sounds:

/ē /, /ā/, /ī /, /ow/, /oy/, /ū/, /t/, /ost/, /ā/


Step 7

Word Dictation

Student Workbook page 7 – Words

“Say spy. Spell the word spy by writing the letters on your palm. Now, pick up your pen and write the word spy on your paper.”

Repeat with the following words:

try, spider, bonus, fever, music, tiger, fly, begin, pilot, paper

Step 8

Sentence Dictation

Student Workbook page 7 – Sentences

“Listen carefully as I say a sentence, and watch as I make a dash on the board for each word in the sentence.”  

Try to help mom with the baby.

“Now, you say the sentence as you point to each dash. Now, you fill in each dash with each word from the sentence. Good. Now go back and read the sentence that you just wrote.”

Repeat the above with the following sentences, but this time in the student workbook instead of the whiteboard:

We went to the zoo to see the tigers and bears.

Lizzy has a fever and needs to stay in bed.


Step 9

Fluency Practice

Student Workbook page 135 –  Fluency Practice 1 

Place a reading marker under the first row. Going across the row, have the student read each word as quickly as they can. Be cautious, as some students will become very anxious if they feel any time pressure. Never push for speed at the cost for accuracy. Accuracy is more important than speed. If the student will tolerate it, have the student do all 15 rows.


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