The following lessons are designed for teaching phonics through spelling for students in grades 4-7.  These lessons are currently being field tested within our district. Lessons still in the testing and review stage will be indicated in red after the description of the lesson.


The order of these lessons provides a logical progression where later concepts are build on previously taught concepts.  Please check the “Prerequisite Skills”  before proceeding with a new lesson.


Open and Closed Syllables

Open and Closed syllables

A closed syllable is a one syllable word or word part with a short vowel followed by at least one consonant.  Ramp, struct, tract

An open syllable is a one syllable word or word part ending in one long vowel. He, my, tri, re

A solid understanding of Open and Closed Syllables helps students break down and decode multisyllable words.

This lesson is currently being field tested.

Open and Closed Syllables for Spelling

Hard and Soft c

The Rule:

This rule determines when students should use the hard or soft c and g when reading and spelling. Readers will be able to decide what sound to use by looking at the letter that follows the c. While this rule is predictable for hard and soft c, it is less predictable for hard and soft g.

The rule:

  • The letter c says /s/ when followed by e, i, or y
  • For all other letters, the c says /k/
  • The same is often true for g which says /j/

Word Lists:

Hard and Soft c

Word Sort Activities

Word Sort for Hard and Soft c

The Floss Rule

The Rule:

If a one syllable word ends in f, l, s, z and there is a short vowel before the final consonant (f, s, l or z), then you double the final consonant.

  • This is a reading rule in that you only pronounce the one consonant of the doubled consonants at the end of the word.
  • When reading and you see a double f, l, s or z then you must pronounce the vowel as a short vowel
  • If the s says /z/ then you don’t double the final “s” (has, is, was)
  • Three of the letters are in the word floss (f, l, s) but if you say “Zee Floss Rules” with an exaggerated French accent, then all 4 consonants are represented

Lesson found here: Floss Rule Lesson

The Doubling Rule

The Rule:

“No” trumps “yes” every time.  That means if criteria for “yes” are met but there is even one criteria that is “no”, then you do not double.

Do not double if:

  • The suffix begins with a consonant (dimness)
  • The base word ends with two consonants (renter, lambing, jumped)
  • If the base word has two vowels in the middle (swooped, feeling, looter)

Do double if:

  • The suffix begins with a vowel (patting, bigger, stepped)
  • The word has only one syllable (clipping, fanned, batter)
  • The word ends in only on consonant preceded by one vowel (nutty, dotted, starred)

The Doubling Rule

Doubling rule worksheet