Teaching Consonant Blends in Kindergarten: Tips and Strategies

A consonant blend is when a word has two or more consonants next to each other and the sounds blend together, like sl in the word slide.  This is a skill usually taught in first grade, however you will most likely have students that are ready to learn consonant blends in kindergarten.

consonant blends

Teaching Consonant Blends

Make sure students know all or most letter sounds before you start teaching consonant blends.  When you are teaching consonant blends, you are modeling for students how to blend two or more consonant sounds together.  This takes some practice for students, but they will get plenty of practice as they read and write more and more.  You will be teaching this during reading and writing.  

Reading

Teach consonant blends in your small group reading time when their book has a word with a blend.  Prior to reading the book, show them the word on a sentence strip, and tell them this word has a blend.  Demonstrate how to slowly sound out each sound, then blend the sounds together.  Have them repeat it back to you.  Show them other words with the same consonant blend, and practice reading them.  Now they will be ready to read this new word in their book.

Writing

When teaching students how to write words, always model writing your own words, sentences, and stories.  Modeling and talking out your thinking process will guide your students in their own thinking process when they are writing on their own.  Pick a story that has a word with a consonant blend.  For example, you can draw a picture of yourself swimming, then tell the students you want to write the sentence: I swam in a pool.  When you get to the word swam, stop and say, “swam…swam has a consonant blend.  A consonant blend is when two or more consonants are next to each other and blend together.  Listen – (say slowly) swam.  The two consonants blending in this word are s and w.  /s/ /w/.”  Write the letters on the board, and have students repeat the sounds with you.  Then write the rest of the word on the board, and read the whole word with your students. 

Consonant Blends List

In kindergarten, we don’t work on all the consonant blends.  We only teach blends with two consonants and blends at the beginning of words.  See the picture below for a list of the consonant blends we work on. 

Consonant Blend Word Banks

These word banks are great when teaching consonant blends.  Hang them in your classroom so students can use them as a reference chart.  You can also use them in some of the activities below.

Consonant Blends Activities

Use the following activities for practice when students are learning about consonant blends.

Consonant Blends Games

Teach your students how to put the puzzle pieces together to match the consonant blends to their pictures.  This is great to do whole group, or once your students understand how to play, put the matching cards in a center.

Sorting Consonant Blends

This is a great activity when practicing consonant blends.  Use the worksheets seen in the picture below to have your students cut and sort consonant blends.

Creating Consonant Blends Lists

Give students a sheet labeled with a few different consonant blends.  Have students write as many words as they can next to each consonant blend.  It is helpful to have a consonant blend word bank hanging in your classroom for students to reference.

Consonant Blends Hunt

Bring items that start with the consonant blends to class ahead of time, and put them in various spots around the classroom.  Give them a blank paper or a consonant blends list sheet from the previous activity.  Have them go on a scavenger hunt around the classroom to look for the items you brought.  When they find an item, they can record it on their sheet. 

Consonant Blends Resources

The consonant blends resources included in this post are found on our Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Use them for student practice when learning consonant blends.  

If you are looking for more phonics activities and resources, read Fantastic Phonics Activities for Kindergarten.

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