Consonant Blends

Class Pages

We are starting to learn about consonant blends. It is important to remind children this is not a digraph it is still 2 letters making 2 different sounds for example but it makes our reading better if can say them blended together.

2 consonant blend at the beginning of words:
I introduce consonant blends to children this way. I tell them that they are going to do a kind of maths…blending maths.

  • On a piece of paper write out the ‘maths’ blends above in equation-form like this...
b + l = bl

c + l = cl

f + l = fl
  • Model this to your child by reading aloud the first equation, then running the b and the l together smoothly and slowly at the end.Be careful to say the sounds of the letters, not their names. Point out that the l is sounded by putting the tongue up and resting it behind the front teeth. They love it if you tell them it is like using their tongue as a ladder and resting 'the ladder' up behind the top teeth. This stops them from saying 'luh' for l.
  • Ask your child to read and say it just as you have. If they are unable to do it correctly, say gently "Let's try that again. This time let's carefully make the sounds of the letters and blend them together I'll say it first."
  • Do not move on to the second ‘equation’ until your child can correctly pronounce the first one.
  • Go at your student's speed. It is more important that they understand how to do it than be rushed.
  • What I have noticed over the years is that children and adults who have not mastered this part of reading, tend to panic when they come to a blend. They often miss out the second sound in the blend. They will read the word black as back. Or they will jumble all the letters in their rush to read the word.
  • By blending consonants in this exercise your student will become aware of the individual letters in each blend. This is important as it will help them later with spelling. They will be aware that the blend is make up of two or three letters and will be able to break them up and put them back together again.
3 consonant blend at the beginning of words

Below, are three-letter consonant blends. Follow the same procedure as above. The only difference is that there are three letters to sound out, not two. Here is a reminder..

s + t + r = str

s + c + r = scr
The words in the next table of consonant blends are slightly more complex. They occur at the ends of words. I find children need more help to learn these than the previous blends. For that reason I will teach them later in the year.

The they can be taught using maths blending as the blends in it sound just the way they look.
Music Mark School
Diocese of Westminster