Lesson plan

Bossy R Meets the Syllable

What’s makes r-controlled syllables special? Use this lesson to help your students practice identifying, reading, and spelling words that contain r-controlled syllables.
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Students will be able to identify and distinguish the sound spelling relationships of multisyllable words containing r-controlled vowel patterns.

(5 minutes)
  • Gather students together for the start of lesson.
  • Say, “Do you know something amazing about words? All words contain syllables. A syllable is a combination of letters that have a vowel and make one single sound. When we’re reading, we sometimes call this a ‘chunk’ of letters, this helps us to read and spell lots of difficult words.”
(5 minutes)
  • Write the following words on the board: Bed, writing, window, and reading.
  • Ask the class to listen closely as you read each word and pause between syllables.
  • Read each word aloud and clap between syllables, “bed has one syllable, bed (clap), writing has two syllables, write (clap) ing (clap), window has two syllables, win (clap) dow (clap), reading has two syllables, read (clap) ing (clap).”
  • Explain that there are many different types of syllables, because there are many different combinations of letters. Say, “Today you will be practicing how to read and spell words with r-controlled syllables. An r-controlled syllable happens in a word where a vowel is followed by the letter r. The r bosses that vowel around and makes the vowel make a new sound, like in the word “car” if you sounded it out, it would sound like 'c-a-r' not car like the way we say it.”
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out whiteboards and dry erase markers, one for each student.
  • Write the following words on the board one at a time: Harbor, plaster, spider, and singer. Ask students to say the words aloud, clapping for each syllable they hear.
  • Have the students then copy each word, writing a line between each of the syllables and holding up their whiteboard for review.
  • Review r-controlled syllables as needed.
(15 minutes)
  • Pass out the Circle the R-Controlled Syllable worksheet and explain the directions. Students should then complete the worksheet independently.
  • Check in with students as they work to ensure understanding and provide support as needed.
  • Support: Invite students who need additional support to join you for additional practice identifying r-controlled syllables using the same method as during guided practice.

  • Enrichment: For more advanced students, have them go on an r-controlled syllable scavenger hunt where they search through books for additional r-controlled syllables and record each word, marking the r-controlled syllable.
(5 minutes)
  • Check student worksheets to assess whether students were able to correctly mark the syllables in each word and identify the r-controlled syllable.
  • Ask students to read one of the words aloud, clapping for each syllable and giving a thumbs up when they reach an r-controlled syllable.
(5 minutes)
  • Review the finished worksheets with the class by calling on volunteers to read a word aloud and inviting the rest of the class to clap for each syllable and give a thumbs up for an r-controlled syllable.
  • Address student questions as needed.

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