Blend words are either two words that combine to make one, like because (which comes by + cause) or words that start with a consonant blend. Kindergarten children can have difficulty learning blend words because two or more consonants run into one another, like "plastic" or "cracker," making it tricky to pronounce. To help kindergarten children with blend words, sounding out the word slowly and encouraging correct pronunciation keeps students from getting stuck.
Sound the word out slowly. If you are working on a word like "treat," say the word slowly and steadily with the child. If they cannot or are too shy to try the word aloud with you, pronounce it slowly for them, shaping your lips.
Encourage the child to try the first syllable, such as "tr" in treat. If the child knows how to read but is stuck on a word, read the word together. Point at each letter and identify its sound.
Use flashcards. Create word flashcards that show the syllabic breakdown of a word. For example, in the word "clothing," make a card that shows "cl + o + th+ ing." Since the blend is in the first syllable, break that down even more into the "K" sound and the "L" sound. Add a picture depicting the word to make the word recognizable and familiar.
Practice flashcards daily with the vocabulary lesson. Add more blend words each day. Ask children to draw the pictures that go on the flashcards.
Read poems to the class. Poems often have short lines that have a rhythm or musicality light on the ear. Choose poems with blend words like grand, moon, grip or stripe, plus "th," "sh" and "ch" words.
Create a "words that start with" exercise. Pick a consonant blend, like "ch." Use flashcards with only pictures, such as images of wild animals. Pick pictures of animals with names that start "ch," like cheetah, chimpanzee, and chinchilla. Ask students to identify the animal. If you are working on spelling, have the child write the word in her notebook.
Noelle Carver has been a freelance writer since 2009, with work published in "SSYK" and "The Wolf," two U.K. literary journals. Carver holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from American University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The New School. She lives in New York City.