Closed Syllables - The Reading and Spelling Rules That Nobody Taught You

Closed syllables are when you have a vowel trapped in by one or more consonants at the end of the word. The vowel says its short sound.

This month we are excited to talk about the Reading and Spelling Rules That Nobody Taught You (at least, nobody had ever taught us these rules!). More specifically, we're excited to talk about spelling rules within the 6 syllable types that make up the English language.

Closed Syllables

The first syllable type we introduce to our students, is the closed syllable. A closed syllable is when a vowel is closed in by one or more consonants at the end of the word. When the vowel is closed in, it can only make it's short sound.

Within Closed Syllable words, teach our students about 4 different phonograms. Our scope and sequence groups lessons by syllable type, so that the students get the big picture first, and then move into the specific phonogram rules. The four phonograms that fall into closed syllables are our -ck, FLOSS, -tch, and -dge rules.

All of the closed syllable rules take place at the end of a closed syllable word when next to a short vowel. Again, having this similar pattern helps students learn the rules.

The first rule we teach is the -ck rule.

We use -ck to say /k/ at the end of a short word when the /k/ sound touches a short vowel. Examples of this are duck, kick, stack, lack, brick. In all of these words, the /k/ sound is touching a short vowel, so we will use -ck to spell it. If the /k/ sound is touching a long vowel sound or a consonant, you'll just use -k. Examples of this are: milk, silk, bask, bike, pink.

The second rule we teach is the FLOSS rule.

Using this rule, we double any f,l,s, or z (we call these "Floss letters") when it comes at the end of a short word and touches a short vowel. Examples of this are: tall, grass, fluff, jazz. As long as one of the floss letters is touching a short vowel at the end of our word, we'll want to double them!

The third rule we teach is the -tch rule

We use -tch to say /ch/ at the end of a short word when touching a short vowel. Examples of this are catch, pitch, etch, hatch, stretch. If the/ch/ sound is touching a long vowel or a consonant you'll spell it with a -ch. Examples of this would be: bunch, crunch, ranch, branch, pinch.

The fourth rule we teach is our -dge rule.

We use -dge to say /j/ at the end of a short word when the /j/ sound touches a short vowel. We do this because no english word ends with the letter j! Examples of -dge words are: bridge, fridge, ridge, judge, edge. Again, if the /j/ sound touches a long vowel or a consonant we're going to spell it differently - with a -ge. Examples of this are: sage, age, change, large.

You can grab our Closed Syllable Activity Bundle >> here! <<

In addition to our four phonograms, we will also teach our 1-1-1 rule for closed syllable words.

When you are adding a vowel suffix to a word with 1 syllable, 1 short vowel, and it ends in 1 consonant, you must double the final consonant. Examples would be dropping, stopped, slipping, blurred. If you are looking for a resource to teach this activity, you can >> grab our’s here!<<