Lesson plan

Sounding with Syllables

If your students need instruction in reading multisyllabic words with long vowel digraphs, then this lesson plan is for you! In this hands-on lesson, students will use manipulatives to break apart and read complex, multisyllabic words.
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Students will be able to use knowledge of syllabication rules to divide and read multisyllabic words that contain vowel digraphs.

(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to share what strategies they can use to read words.
  • Tell the students that sometimes knowing certain spelling patterns can help us divide and read words that have multiple syllables (if necessary, remind students that syllables are the units in a word).
  • Tell the students that they will be learning how to read multisyllabic words with the vowel patterns of ea, ee, ai, oa, and ow.
(5 minutes)
  • Using selected words (e.g. entertain, appearance, committee, approach, widower), show the students how to locate the digraphs (ea, ee, ai, oa, ow) and to subdivide the words to read accurately.
  • Use the sentence strips and pipe cleaners to demonstrate this process of dividing words into syllables and reading the words.
(10 minutes)
  • Divide students up into small groups of three or four students.
  • Distribute guided practice words and popsicle sticks to each group.
  • Invite the students to work on dividing the words into syllables as a group, using the pipe cleaners or popsicle sticks.
  • Circulate around the room, assisting students as needed, and ask them to read the words using their knowledge of the syllables.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to complete the Syllable Break-up worksheet.


  • Challenge students to brainstorm multisyllabic words with similar patterns, break the words into syllables, and create a web of words.


  • Provide partially divided words for students who need additional support.
  • Create sentence strip puzzles with pre-cut syllables.
  • Have students record themselves reading multisyllabic words using Voice Thread or another recording program. Use their recordings to help them with their pronunciation and to develop fluency.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to complete the worksheet Syllabication Evaluation.
  • Rotate around the room and listen to students as they read the words aloud.
(5 minutes)
  • Using a combination of words from the lesson, name a word and ask the students to explain how the word can be broken apart.

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