Are you looking for some multisyllabic word activities that will help your student practice decoding and breaking up difficult words? On today’s post I am going to share with you my favorite multisyllabic word activities that are really easy, fun and involve a lot of movement.

Use Stacking Blocks

This is one of my favorite multisyllabic word activities because it is so simple and yet so much fun, especially if your student likes to build. If you have giant blocks, those work the best, but if your space is limited, you can use legos or small blocks instead.

 You will start out by writing a multisyllabic word on the whiteboard. For example: 

 ob-ser-va-tion

Have your student stack blocks on top of each other to represent each syllable in the word. You can have your student build a new tower for each new word you write on the whiteboard, or you can have your student keep building one tower with multiple words so that the tower gets really high.  

 Another option is to build a tall tower first, and then have your student take off a block for each syllable in a word.  

For those of you who have a lot of space, you can include some bowling with this activity. You can have your student build a really tall tower with many words and then roll a ball and knock the tower down… oooh fun!

 Some multisyllabic words you can use in this activity: 

lemonade, recreation, hippopotamus, evaluate, forgetfulness, attention, personality, complaining, surrender, contraction, sarcastic, examination, cafeteria, cultivate, elementary, donation, extinction, infection, introduction, imagination, information, asparagus, explanation, vocabulary, complication, generosity, represent, extraordinary, pointless, outstanding, refrigerator, destructive, mathematical, unquestionable, veterinarian, anniversary

Use Playdough

This is another one of my favorite multisyllabic word activities because it involves a little bit of a mess but your students will love it!  

Have your student roll out a small flat piece of playdough and use a toothpick or any other writing tool you want to use to write the word in the playdough.  Then with a plastic knife or any other tool you want to use, the student can cut the playdough through the word to represent the syllables.  

 You can then have your student separate the playdough pieces and then push them together.  

Use an Abacus

This is also listed as one of my favorite multisyllabic word activities because it involves using an abacus. If you don’t have an abacus, you can use beads on a string instead. 

Write a word on the whiteboard. Start out with just 2 syllable words and progress to 3 and 4 syllable words over time.   

Ask your student to segment the syllables by moving the beads across the abacus or the beads on your string. 

 

Some 2 syllable words you can use: 

bacon, teacher, baseball, button, closet, friday, color, cookie, music, kitchen, mother, father

 

 Some 3 syllable words you can use:

basketball, umbrella, hospital, telephone, grandmother, lemonade, video, butterfly, handwriting

Some 4 & 5 syllable words you can use:

alphabetical, disorganization, impossible, librarian, anybody, electricity, congratulations, imagination, television, supermarket, disagreeable, immediately, historical, dandelion

The Six Syllables to Teach

Just in case these above multisyllabic word activities are too difficult for your student, you might want to backtrack and make sure that you explicitly teach all six syllable types first. These include:

Closed Syllables

These syllables end in a consonant. The vowel has a short vowel sound, like in the word fan.

Some examples of closed first syllables are:

ad-mit, un-fit, thun-der, cab-in, hab-it, lap-top  

Open Syllables

These syllables end in a vowel. The vowel has a long sound, like in the word so.

Some examples of open first syllables are:

a-pron, ra-dar, ba-con, u-nit, tu-lip, pi-lot, lo-cate  

Vowel-Consonant-e Syllable

These syllables are found at the end of a word. The final e is silent and makes the vowel in that syllable long, like in the word shake

Some examples of vowel-consonant-e syllables are:

con-fuse, camp-fire, cup-cake, es-cape, ex-plode, flag-pole, cos-tume

Vowel Team Syllable

These syllables have two vowels next to each other that make one sound together like in the word boot.

Some examples of vowel team syllables are:

eight-y, dis-count, teach-ing, tug-boat, dug-out, dis-count

Consonant plus -le Syllable

These syllables end in -le, like in the word puddle

Some examples of consonant plus -le syllables are: 

cud-dle, pur-ple, crac-kle, frec-kle, snif-fle  

R-Controlled Syllable

These syllables contain a vowel followed by an r. The r will change the way the vowel is pronounced, like in the word car

Some examples of r-controlled syllables are:

hor-net, bom-bard, far-mer, tar-nish, mor-sel, bor-der

A good literacy program should include teaching syllable division in spelling and reading and help build strong phonemic awareness. 

If you are looking for an Orton-Gillingham program that teaches students all 6 syllable rules and is extremely easy to teach, is HEAVILY scripted out and is very affordable, check out the PRIDE Reading Program.  


Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at info@pridereadingprogram.com or visit the website at www.pridereadingprogram.com

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