Do you have a student who is really struggling with mastering their IEP goal for multisyllabic words? Some skills can be so tricky to get. Many students look at two syllable words and just completely shut down because they don’t know where to start. By explicitly teaching the rules of syllable division, we can help our students confidently attack multisyllabic words lists.
If you are struggling with how to monitor this type of IEP goal, be sure to grab your free guide to Simplify your Progress Monitoring!
Start with basic phonics and syllable rules
Before students can conquer multisyllabic words, it’s important to have a strong foundation in basic phonics and syllable rules. How will they be able to read a two syllable word if they don’t know the sounds each letter makes? First, we have to teach letter sounds, digraphs (sh, th, ch, wh, and ck), as well as any glued sounds where the vowel’s sound changes slightly (an, am, all, ang, ing, ong, unk, ank, ink, onk, unk).
Students should not only know the letter sounds but also know how to manipulate three and four sounds together. You can practice these skills through playing word games that work on rhyming, blending, and segmenting. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Rhyming – When students are working on producing rhymes, it helps to give them a little extra support. We play a game called, “Silly Mrs. Welsh!” In this game, I say a nonsense word and students need to correct me. It helps if you give them a category. For example, I would say, “Today, we are talking about fruit. I just love to eat tapples.” Then, students would say, “Not tapples, apples!” We repeat this several times. Students think it is so silly, but they are actually producing several blends!
- Blending – Start with a list of words with two sounds. Have students repeat after you, saying each sound and then blending the two sounds together. I use my hands to show one sound in my right hand, the other sound in my left hand and then we clap to blend the sounds together. Once students get the hang of it, you can increase the difficulty by adding more sounds.
- Segmenting – For this activity, we take words with two or more sounds and we break them apart into individual sounds. Have students put their hands together. First, they should repeat the sounds. Then, they can use their hands to “chop” they sounds apart.
These activities are all easy to implement and do not require any materials! I play them while we walk from their homeroom to my classroom or when I can see that they need a walking break. It is a great way to make use of every minute!
Practice breaking down words into syllables
Breaking down words into syllables is an important skill for children to master when learning multisyllabic words. One fun activity to practice this skill is to have your child clap out the syllables in different words. For example, for the word “banana,” they would clap three times (ba-na-na). I like to make this more hands on by first writing out words on sentence strips. Then, we physically cut the syllables into pieces. This will help them visually see how the word is broken down and make it easier for them to read and pronounce multisyllabic words lists. You can also use the cut up syllables to make nonsense words by mixing them up.
Use visual aids and manipulatives to reinforce learning
In addition to clapping and cutting apart writing out words, using visual aids and manipulatives can also be helpful in learning multisyllabic words. For example, you can display picture cards with common sounds like the king of ing. That helps students remember common chunks of sounds making longer words easier to decode. You can also use letter tiles, blocks, or index cards to physically manipulate the word and break it down into syllables. These hands-on activities can make learning multisyllabic words more engaging and fun!
Play word games and puzzles to make learning fun
Learning multisyllabic words doesn’t have to be boring! Incorporating word games and puzzles can make the process more enjoyable for students. My favorite activity is playing Bingo! You can grab this bingo game that features multisyllabic words lists with short vowels. Your students will also love playing bingo, while they are also getting excellent practice decoding multisyllabic words! If you need a good extra time activity, grab this pack of word searches that feature multisyllabic words. These are perfect for early finishers! These activities not only make learning fun, but they also help reinforce the spelling and pronunciation of multisyllabic words.
Encourage reading and exposure to new words
One of the best ways to help your student master multisyllabic words is to encourage reading and exposure to new words. Discussing new words they come across can help expand their vocabulary and improve their understanding of word structure. As they listen to grade-level text, pull out multisyllabic words and practice clapping out syllables. By using texts they will reread, students will have repeated practice with decoding these more complex words.
Looking for more resources for multisyllabic words lists?
- Progress Monitoring – 40 weeks
- Progress Monitoring – Multisyllabic Words with Blends
- How to Simplify Progress Monitoring for Decoding IEP Goals