Spellings and Their Sounds

This is a handy list of the sounds for each spelling.  

List of Consonant Sounds for Each Spelling.

  • b/bb                      Bb or silent
  • c                            Kk or Ss when the C is followed by an e, i or y.
  • ck                         Kk
  • cks                       Xx/KS
  • ch                         CH, SH for French origin words, or Kk
  • d/ed                      Dd or Tt for the suffix -ed
  • f/ff                         Ff or rarely Vv (of)
  • g/gg                      Gg or Jj when the Gg is followed by an e,i or y
  • gh                         Gg, Ff or silent
  • gn                         Nn
  • gu                         Gg (guess)
  • h                           Hh, or silent as in hour
  • J                             Jj
  • k                           Kk
  • kn                         Nn
  • ks/kes                   Xx/KS
  • l/ll                          Ll, rarely Rr (colonel) or silent when followed by f, m, k, or d. (calf, calm, yolk, could)
  • le/el                       Ll
  • m/mm                   Mm or rarely silent.
  • mn/mb                  Mm
  • n/nn                      Nn or silent
  • ng/n                      NG also when a N is followed by a K it has the NG sound
  • p/pp                      Pp
  • ph                         Ff or Pp
  • pn                         Nn
  • ps                         Ss
  • pt                          Tt or at the end of a syllable it can have a Pp/Tt blend.
  • qu                         Qu/KW
  • r/rh                       Rr if at the beginning of a syllable or word
  • s/ss                      Ss, Zz, _S_(ZH), or SH (sugar)
  • si                          _S_ (ZH) or SH
  • sh                         SH
  • t/tt                         Tt
  • ti                          SH, or Tt
  • th                         TH as in thumb, TH as in this, or Tt (thyme)
  • v                           Vv
  • w                          Ww or silent vowel helper (know)
  • wh                        WH, or rarely Hh (who)
  • wr                         Rr when at the beginning of a syllable
  • x                           Xx/KS at the end of a word/syllable, or Zz at the beginning of a word
  • y                           Yy when it begins a word/syllable otherwise it is a vowel (Look at Vowels)
  • z                           Zz or rarely _S_ (ZH) (seizure)

List of Vowel Sound for Each Spelling

  • a                  Long A, UH, AW (all), or short Aa when followed by a consonant in the syllable
  • a_e/ai          Long A, Short Ee (said), short Ii (mountain), Long I (aisle) or Short Aa (plaid, have)
  • air                AIR
  • ar                 AR OR when following a “W” (warm), or ER when it is a suffix (dollar)
  • are               AIR or AR when all alone (are)
  • au                Long A, AW, or Short A (laugh)
  • aw               AW
  • ay                Long A or Long I (kayak)
  • e                  Long E, UH or Short Ee when followed by a consonant in the syllable
  • ea                Long E, Long A (break), or Short Ee (head)
  • ear               EAR or AIR (bear)
  • ee/e_e         Long E or rarely Long A (matinee)
  • ei                 Long A, Long E when following a “C”, or rarely Long I
  • eo                Rare Long E (people) or Long O
  • et                 Short Ee, or Long A (ballet)
  • ew               Long OO or Long U
  • ey                Long E, Long I (geyser, eye) or Long A (they)
  • i                   Long I, UH, Short Ii when followed by a consonant in the syllable, Long E (pizza)
  • ia                 Long I (diamond)
  • ie                 Long I if it ends the first syllable, Long E, or rarely Long A (lingerie)
  • i_e               Long I, Long E (machine), or Short Ii (give)
  • igh               Long I
  • is                 Long I (island), or Long E (debris)
  • ir                  ER or Long I (fire)
  • o                  Long O, UH, Short Oo when followed by a consonant, short I (women), Long OO (to), Short OO when following a “W” (wolf), or UH (son)
  • oa                Long O
  • oe                Long O or Long OO (canoe)
  • o_e              Long O, UH (some), Short Oo (gone), or Long OO (move)
  • oi                 OY
  • oo                Long OO (boo), or Short OO (book)
  • or                 OR, or ER when it follows a “W” (work) or at the end (doctor)
  • ore/oar/oor  OR
  • ou                OW, UH (double), AW (cough), OR (four), Long OO (soup), or Short OO (could)
  • ow                Long O, or OW
  • oy                 OY
  • u                   Long U, Short Uu/UH when followed by a consonant in the syllable, Long OO (tuna), or Short OO (put)
  • ue                 Long U or Long OO
  • u_e               Long U, Long OO (tube) or UH (judge)
  • ui                  Long OO
  • ur                  ER
  • y                   Long E multi-syllable words, Long I first syllable, or Short I when followed by consonant

More phonics materials available through our website.    http://www.phonicsbyspelling.com/

Recipe for Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies  (Fun to make when teaching the letters Cc or Ll.)20150916_115303

1. Mix:

  • ½ cup butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg   (Listen for the Cracking Egg sound when cracking the egg.)
  •  ¼ teaspoon vanilla

2. Mix in:

  • 1½ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  •  ¼ teaspoon salt

3.  Chill dough for an hour.

4.  Roll out the dough and cut with Cookie Cutters.  (Works good to use letter cookie cutters  and cut out their initials.)

5.  Bake at 375 for 5-7 minutes.

6.  Enjoy!

For more educational products and information visit www.phonicsbyspelling.com

Teach about Fall


Objective: Teach children about fall (autumn) and how it is different from other seasons.


  • Find drawings or pictures of fall activities, fall foliage, and fall food from books, magazines, or old calendars
  • Print out this PDF of the Tree book.    tree book    Cut into fourths and staple together along the side to make a four page book.
  • Have crayons, markers or colored pencils.
  • Decide on a book to read. Suggested books: 
    • Clifford’s First Autumn (Clifford the Small Red Puppy) by Norman Bridwell, 
    • When Autumn Comes by Robert Maass, 
    • Fall by Chris L. Demarest, 
    • Autumn Story by Jill Barklem


Read the book(s) then discuss the changing colors and cooling temperatures of fall while showing pictures.

Explain that some people call autumn, “fall,” which refers to the leaves falling off the trees during this season.

Show the pictures and discuss.

Discussion Questions

  • When does this season occur? The first day of autumn (fall) is celebrated on the fall equinox – a time when both night and day are equal. September 22 or 23rd is the first day of autumn.
  • What happens to the leaves on the trees?  The leaves change color.
  • Why do leaves changes colors in the fall? During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis.  The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer.  In the fall they begin to shut down their food-making factories.  The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves.  As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow, red and orange colors.
  • What is the weather like?  The weather gets cooler.
  • What kind of things do we do in the fall? Explain that many animals, such as squirrels, are busy during the fall collecting food to survive the winter months ahead.  People harvest food and prepare it for winter, go back to school, watch and play football, etc.
  • What kind of foods do we eat in the fall?  Apples, pumpkins, potatoes and other vegetables and fruits.
  • What holidays take place in the fall? Thanksgiving, Halloween

Activity:  Tree Book

  • Have the children color the tree on each page to each season.
  • Winterjust color the trunk and branches with no leaves.  (Talk about why this is called a bare tree.)
  • Spring—color the trunk and draw in some green leaves and pink blossoms.
  • Summer—color the trunk and draw in green leaves.
  • Fall—color the trunk and draw in red, yellow and orange leaves on and under the tree.

For more educational products and information visit www.phonicsbyspelling.com




Math lesson ideas for the Number 3 (three)

Number 3

Objective:   Help children recognize the number 3 and the word “three”, use numbers for counting, count 3 objects, learn to write “3” and “three”.


  • Find an art print or picture from a calendar or magazine with good examples of “three”.
  • Optional:  Have small animals or objects for counting.
  • Have some stickers.
  • Write the number “3” and the word “three” on a word card.  Use the “1 one” and the “2 two” word cards from previous lessons.
  • Decide on a simple book, poem or song that has good examples of three.  Possibly use, “Three Little Monkeys”.  (Included at the end.)
  • Have paper and pencil for each child.  (It is fun to use a colored paper or colored pencils.)

Lesson Ideas:

  • Display the word card with “3 three”.  Discuss the difference between the number “3” and the word “three”.  Compare to the number “1 one” and number “2 two” cards.
  • Read a simple book or poem. (Three Little Monkeys)  Discuss the examples of three.
  • Show the picture and have each child pick out three things in the picture.
  • Give each child three objects.  Have them line them up, then touch each object as they count them as a group.
  • Show how to make the number 3.  Have them make them in the air with their finger.  Have them close their eyes and write the number 3 in the air.
  • Give each child a paper and pencil.  Have them write their names, help them if needed.  Show the word card again for “3 three”.  Have them write a number “3” several times, and the word “three”.  (If a child has a hard time writing their letters, write the word “three” with a yellow pencil and have them trace it.)  Put out stickers and have them select 3 for their paper.  (They could also draw three things.)

Extension ideas:  Possibly include some counting, comparing or patterning activities with small animals.  (more and less, same and different, ABC pattern, etc.)

Three Little Monkeys

  • Three little monkeys swinging in the trees
  • Teasing Mister Alligator,
  • “You can’t catch me! You can’t catch me!”
  • Along comes Mister Alligator quiet as can be.
  • Snap! (Clap)

(Repeat with one less monkey until there are none left.)

  • No little monkeys!


Check out our other learning materials at our website. http://www.phonicsbyspelling.com/

Leaves and Trees

Leaves and Trees

Objective:  Children will learn about leaves, trees and their parts.


  • Find drawings or pictures of trees from books, magazines or old calendars.
  • Crayons without the paper wrapping on them. (green, red, orange, yellow, brown)
  • Thin Paper like tracing paper or coffee fillers.
  • Leaves freshly picked.  (If the leaves are too old they will crumble.)
  • Decide on a book to read.  Suggested books:
    • Trees by Peggy Gavan
    • Treats From a Tree by Susan Canizares


Read a book then discuss trees and leaves.

It is fun if you have trees to go outside and discover the parts of a tree and gather leaves.

Show pictures and discuss:

Why are trees important?

  • Trees grow much of the fruits and nuts we eat.
  • Trees prevent soil erosion.
  • Trees provide many animals with shelter and food.
  • Trees produce oxygen which we need to breathe and keep the air clean.
  • Trees give shade in the summer and keep us cool.
  • Trees are also used to build homes.
  • Trees are used for making paper and medicines.

What are the parts of a tree?

  • Trunk—the stem and the part that is wood.
  • Bark—the “skin” of the tree that helps protect it.
  • Roots—the “straws” that the tree uses to take in water from the dirt.
  • Leaves—use the water and sunlight to make food for the tree.
  • Branches—take water to the leaves and hold the leaves.
  • Fruit—some trees have fruits we can eat.
  • Blossoms—the flowers that bloom and later become fruit.

Activity:  Leaf Rubbings

  • Collect leaves of all shapes and sizes as you explore the trees outside.
  • Position leaves vein side up.
  • Lay a sheet of plain white paper over the top of the leaves.
  • Turn a crayon on its side and gently rub over the paper.

The leaf images will magically appear on the paper!

For more educational products and information visit www.phonicsbyspelling.com

Word Cards for Attention!

Word Cards

Using word cards to introduce every subject helps children know where the lesson is headed.  It helps them stay with you.  Even if the children you are teaching don’t read yet, a word card helps them learn to read plus it gets and keeps their attention.

It is often said that when teaching or giving a speech, tell them  what you’re going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you have told them.  This is especially true of young children.  Here are some tips for using word cards:

  •  Use a word card to bring them back to the subject.   
  • A word card can be used in fun, possibly silly, ways.
  • Keeping the word cards down to 1 or 2 per lesson will help children stay focused.
  • Vary how the word cards is used.
  • Word cards can also help at home to keep children on task and focused.

Have fun using word cards to increase learning for the children in your life.  We would love feedback on how you have successfully used Word Cards.

For more educational products and information visit www.phonicsbyspelling.com


Applesauce     20140821_141933

  • Peel, core and slice one apple per person.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until apples are soft.
  • Mash with a potato masher.
  • Add sugar and cinnamon to taste.
  • Eat and enjoy!

For more educational products and information visit www.phonicsbyspelling.com


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