Consonant Blends for Elementary Grades (with Powerpoint slides)

By Becky F

One of your most important tasks as an elementary school teacher is helping students learn how to read and pronounce words correctly. Teaching blends is often the biggest obstacle for very young children. Spl, spr, scr, and str consonant blends are not intuitive at all for young readers, and they quickly get bored after struggling through a complex word.

Luckily, there are plenty of tools and tricks of the trade to help you get around this hurdle.

How Do You Explain Consonant Blends to Elementary Students?

Consonant blends are just two or more consonants that are written together. Unlike digraphs such as “ch” that form a new sound, every letter in a consonant blend keeps its sound.

When teaching blends, you don’t have to explain the mechanics of the construction to children. Instead, focus on the sounds. Ask them to sound out each letter, then pronounce them together.

What Are Some Examples of Blends?

The most common blends are initial and final consonant blends. Your students might ask, what are some examples of initial and final consonant blends (although not in these exact words)? Initial consonant blends are ones that come at the beginning of the word, such as “spl” in “splash.”

Final consonant blends are the ones that come at the end of the word, such as “nk” in “stink.”

What Order Should I Teach Consonant Blends? 

When you asked, what consonants should I teach first, you probably learned that you should use the most common letters first.

A similar principle applies when teaching consonant blends. You should teach common combinations such as spr, scr, and str consonant blends first. When you’re teaching blends, teach them in groupings of similar sounds (for example, all blends with an r together).

The order of words you teach matters more than the blends themselves. Choose simpler, shorter words at first, then move on to longer words with more than four sounds.

How Do You Teach Blends in a Fun Way?

Most teaching methods for blends recommend using flash cards and sounding out words, but this quickly gets boring for the students (and for you). Consonant blend activities are a great way to help kids learn while retaining their attention.

Try to give your students an opportunity to use blends themselves, whether by filling in worksheets where they add letters to blanks in given words, or by using mechanical letters to form words.

Activities that get the kids moving are also a big hit. Cut up letters and make a scavenger hunt where they have to put together different cards to make consonant blends. Or play consonant blend bingo and hand out prizes to students who identify the blends correctly.

Powerpoint Slides for Teaching Consonant Blends

Teaching consonant blends and explaining them to students can be challenging. If you are facing difficulty making lesson slides for consonant blends, we are here to help you.

Download our complete set of ready-to-use PowerPoint slides for teaching Consonant Blends. This classroom resource is designed mainly for elementary grade teachers. Our PowerPoint slides are editable, and you can modify them according to your requirement.

First, let's look at the learning objectives and outcomes of this lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students should be able to;

  • Understand the term consonant blends
  • Identify the words spr, scr, spl, & str blends and read them phonemically correct

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to;

  • Sort words with the spr, scr, spl, & str blends
  • Identify sounds of letters, and match words beginning with three-letter sounds.

You can watch the lesson video here before downloading the Powerpoint slides.

Download ppt Slides For This Lesson

Editable Lesson Slides included

The Final Word on Teaching Blends

Teaching consonant blends is an important part of phonics, but very young children often struggle with these more complex sounds. By teaching groupings of similar blends together and starting with shorter words, you can present this concept in an accessible way. Choosing fun activities that play up your students’ competitive nature will also help the lessons stick.

We hope that this teaching resource is helpful for you. In addition, you can check the complete range of our teaching resources for elementary grade English lessons here.

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