Once students master reading Closed Syllable and Vowel-Consonant-e Syllable type words, I teach -r-Controlled Syllables. The reason I teach this syllable type immediately after the first two syllable types is because -r-Controlled only has 4 sounds for students to quickly pocket. So many programs that teach syllable type words, teach Vowel Teams after Closed and Vowel-Consonant-e, but there are a lot of vowel teams, and it takes students a while to master all of them. Therefore, I wait to teach them after teaching -r-Controlled Syllables.
The definition of a –r-Controlled Syllable has the following features. The r-controlled vowel is neither short nor long. The –r controls the vowel by changing its sound when the -r is glued to the right of a vowel. Just a note: a syllable is not -r-Controlled if the vowel is glued to the left of the -r, such as in the word rat.
Since all vowels paired with -r [-ar, -er, -ir, -or, -ur.] make some of the same sounds, it takes students continuously reviewing in order to master the sound and spelling of this syllable type. Exposure, experience, and visual memory are the keys to successfully reading and spelling -r-Controlled words. During review students learn that r-controlled words either say one of these four sounds /ar/, /air/, /ir/, /or/.
- -ar makes 4 –r sounds – /ar/ in car, /ir/ in bird, /or/ in corn, and /air/ in air.
- -er makes 2 –r sounds – /ir/ in bird, /air/ in air.
- -ir makes 1 –r sound – /ir/ in bird.
- -or makes 3 –r sounds – /ar/ in car, /ir/ in bird, and /or/ in corn. When it makes the /ar/ in car sound, it only makes this sound in a few words such as: borrow, sorry, sorrow, and tomorrow.
- –ur makes 1 –r sound – /ir/ in bird
On Reading A-Z, there are four different books that feature each specific -r-Controlled sound. https://www.readinga-z.com/books/decodable-books/.
Also, the following books on the Reading A-Z target -r-Controlled words and are great practice reads:
- Mr. Irwin’s Field Trips [https://www.readinga-z.com/book.php?id=799]
- Horrible Lori [https://www.readinga-z.com/book.php?id=1086&lang=English]
Some words such as: care, dare, mare, share can be considered Vowel-Consonant-e and -r-Controlled. Their spelling pattern is a Vowel-Consonant-e Syllable, but their sound is a -r-Controlled sound. They are exceptions in that the letters –e and –r are both bossy.
Wild Animal Race Game Directions: Students are to roll a die, and then read a word on the numbered row of the game mat. They can cover the words with a chip, cross out the words, or color the box with a crayon. The first row of words to be covered declares that particular animal the winner. Individual students or a group of students can play this game. This is a great game to place in literacy centers. Option: Play “cover the card” rather than first one to cover a row.
There are more Wild Animal Race game boards in the Wild Animal Race Packet.
More resources on -r-Controlled Syllables:
Comments others are saying about the above packets:
Such a complete package and such fun games: students had a great time with Clear the Board and Wild Animal Race. Getting the other games ready for next year. Great value and creative ideas!!!
This was a great spiral review in my first grade class!
My second graders LOVED this!! And it was great for vocabulary considering they’re ESL! Thanks!
These are such a great resource for primary RTI