ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Teaching Word Families

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Teaching Word Families

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When children begin to learn to read patterns are important.  Patterns are taught through rhymes, otherwise called word families. For example, if a child easily recognizes the word can it is likely they will quickly learn to read the words man, pan, Dan, etc.  As educators, when we teach word families we significantly improve a child's reading vocabulary and their ability to feel successful.

The Have Fun Teaching Blog has free word family worksheets.  On this link you will also find word family small group centers including families such as: AD, AN, AT, AY, EAT, ED, EN, ET, IGHT, ING, IP, IT, OLD, OP, OW, OY, UT, UN, UCK, UNNY.

Mrs. Mayer Gracefield, a Kindergarten teacher, explains the importance of teaching Word Families.

Piece of Cake shares many great tips on teaching kids to read with word families.

Teaching Spelling shares an All in the Family word family game.

Mama Snail has put together a fantastic post to lead you through the process of putting together handmade word family work boxes and using the manipulatives to teach word families.

Quirky Momma's Phonetic Flip Chart would be a fantastic way to work with your emergent reader on word families.

Quirky Momma also explains how she taught the -AT family of words.  In her post she discusses Progressive Phonics.

Reading Rockets has a specific lesson called Meet the Word Families.

Teaching word families with songs is also very effective.  If you happen to have links to any fun word family songs we would love to see them!


  1. I was just thinking about how I needed to find ideas for this. Thanks for showcasing it. It's really interesting how difficult it is for my child to hear the similar sounds.

  2. super Why on PBS kids has a great little song that you can add any word into. We've used the song a couple of times when we are playing a rhyming game and needing another word for that family OR sounding out a new word that belongs to a word family we are already semi-used to:)

    PBs Kids- Super Why and the character RED has rhyming games and the little song... I looked for a direct link but didn't see one for the song!

  3. Wonderful ideas. I was thinking I need to do more teachy-teachy things like word families & phonics. I LOVE crafts but need to get down to the nitty gritty of learning with the kids and see make it fun :)

  4. Thanks for this post, I find my daughter is always surprised with how many words she knows. Thanks, Karen
    Sippy Cup Central