According to the Webster Dictionary, diphthongs are " two vowel sounds joined in one syllable to form one speech sound".
If that nice definition didn't quite work for you, let me give you some examples. It is the oy sound in boy or the oi sound in voice. But we can complicate matters even more and say that the ew in jewel is also a diphthong even though the w is not a vowel. Isn't English is so much fun?
One way to help young children improve their reading fluency is to teach them the sounds the two letters in a diphthong make, and the more they are exposed to these words the more comfortable they will become with these sounds.
Before Playing Diphthong PuzzlesIf children are unfamiliar with diphthongs and the sounds they make, these puzzles with will be very frustrating. I advise introducing diphthongs and playing with the sounds and words before you start the puzzles. We began our study of each diphthong with a fun interactive notebook activity. It had us reading the words, coloring in pictures, reading texts with the word, doing word searches, and filling in the blanks of a story with words that had diphthongs.
We continued our study with games that gave us a little more practice reading words with diphthongs.
When I finally felt he was very comfortable with the sounds, we moved onto these puzzle pieces.
Prep WorkUnfortunately, printable puzzles do require a little prep work, but with the right steps taken they can last a long time and be used over and over.
- First, print off the diphthong puzzles on cardstock paper
- Next, cut them out
- For added durability, laminate
- Finally, sit down with your Kindergartener, First grader, or second grader and get ready for some fun learning
What You GetThe diphthong puzzles review 9 different sounds. For each sound, there are four words. Also included are six blank puzzles. This allows you to add a few extra special words if you so desire. The sounds and words used with them are as follows...
- au - author, pause, sauce, haunt
- aw - hawk, yawn, shawl, crawl
- ew - jewel, blew, grew, chew
- oi - voice. foil, hoist, point
- oo - scoop, stool, tool, moon
- ou - mouse, count, couch, south
- ow - clown, growl, crowd, bow
- 00 - wood, hood, cook, book
- oy - oyster, toy, joy, coy
Activity TimeIf you were to drop all those words in front of a young child, many of them would just sit and stare. They would be quite overwhelmed with the task in front of them. I highly suggest only giving 4 to 8 diphthong puzzles at a time. You could work on one sound at a time and only have them work through 4 puzzles. Or give them four puzzles with 2 of the diphthongs that sound the same..... such as oi and oy. Really want to challenge them? Then hand them eight puzzles with all different sounds. The options are endless!!
The goal for the diphthong puzzles is to get children to sound out the words, recognize the letters that make each sound, recognize the sounds each diphthong make, and then put it all together to make a word.
Some children will need very little instruction and can easily do this on their own.
Other children will need you to sit down with them. They may need you to break apart the word for them and say each sound separately. The more you work through the words, gradually release the responsibility to the student. If at first you have to say the words and break them apart, then after a few have the child say the word and try on their own to say the sounds in the word. Try to do less and less for them until they are able to succeed on their own. Before you know it, they will be comfortable spelling diphthongs by themselves. Enjoy!
- Phonics Coloring Sheets
- Candy Corn Phonics Puzzles
- Letter Sounds Bingo
- Free Word Family Cards - These word cards work on eery, eir, and air.
- Beginning Sounds Clip it Cards
- Cut & Paste Alphabet Book
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