Word Families-What are they and how do I help my child learn them?

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Word families are words that all end with the same letter combination. For example, the –at word family consists of words like bat, cat, fat, hat, gnat, mat, pat, rat, sat, chat, brat, drat, flat, slat, etc.

As you can see, word families are helpful to students when they are reading and spelling. Once your child learns the –at family words, he or she can then read and spell all these words more easily. By teaching word families, your child can also work on learning letter combinations at the beginning of words as in the list above. (br, dr, fl, sl).

Playing a word family game is a fun way for your child to work on word families. See below for game instructions.

To prepare-make a set of index cards with word families on them. As in the example above, make a card with ‘at’ written on it. Then make a set of cards with letters and letter combinations on them. For example, you should make word cards with the letters b, c, f, h, gn, m, p, r, s, ch, br, dr, fl, sl on them.

To play-Place the ‘at’ card on the table in front of your child. Hold up the other cards in your hands like playing cards. Have your child pick a card and place it in to the left of the ‘at’ card. Then have your child read the word he or she created. Choose another card and continue playing.

Variations-Instead of holding the cards for your child, put them in a pile upside and your child can play alone picking a card and making a new word one at a time.

To find a complete list of word families and words to use click here.




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