Counting Syllables

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This week’s reading strategy helps build graphophonemic awareness that I talked about when discussing the four components of teaching reading, aka “The Apple”.

  • Syllable Words on Construction Paper (You don’t have to use construction paper, but it makes it more fun)
  • Scissors


  1. Begin by asking your child/student, “What are sentences made of?”. Then, introduce syllables by asking, “What are words made of?”
  2. Demonstrate by having your child/student count the number of syllables in their first name. If teaching in a group, have the group do these together and learn the techniques of clapping out each syllable and placing a hand under their chin to help them count (a child places their hand under their chin while saying a word and count how many times their chin hits their hand).
  3. Have your prepared words (syllable cards) with different amounts of syllables printed onto construction paper. Call on your child/student to read the word, determine how many syllables there are and where the syllables are. Cut apart the words to demonstrate the different syllables.
  4. Reinforce by counting the syllables in common words such as: chicken, butterfly, pencil.
  5. If any time is left or for an extension activity, use word family cards to talk about changing the beginning, middle, and ending sounds to produce new words and how these newly formed words often rhyme.

Next Steps/Extension Activities:

  • Draw physical objects out of a basket to count syllables
  • Teacher/Parent pronouncing words one syllable at a time for students to determine the word (for example: teacher/parent says “b/all” and the child says “ball”)
I’ve put together a packet to go along with this activity (it also includes this lesson, lesson word cards, assessment worksheets, and more!) if you’d like to have everything already made along with extras:

This packet contains a lesson, lesson resources, assessment worksheets, posters, and small group activities designed to teach students what syllables are, how to count and identify them, and how to segment and blend words using syllables.  Students will also learn how syllables can help them decode and spell words.
Included In This Packet:

*Counting Syllables Lesson
*Syllable Cards To Cut and Piece Together
*Counting Syllables Picture Worksheet
*Spelling with Syllables Worksheet
*12 Segmenting Syllable Rule Posters
*Syllable Counting Boxes and Suggestions For Use
*Breaking Up Two Syllable Words Worksheet
*Breaking Up Three Syllable Words Worksheet
*Breaking Up Four Syllable Words Worksheet
*Identifying Syllables Worksheet
*Breaking Up Words To Help Spell Them Worksheet
*How Many Syllables? Worksheet
*Syllable Cut and Paste Worksheet
*One Syllable Word Hunt Highlight Worksheet
*Two Syllable Word Hunt Highlight Worksheet
*Three Syllable Word Hunt Highlight Worksheet
*Four Syllable Word Hunt Highlight Worksheet
*Segmenting Words Into Syllables Picture Cards and Segmenting Tiles
*Syllable Dash Board Game (Counting Syllables)
*Syllable Picture Sort Activity
*Hen House Syllable Match Activity
*Answer Sheets

Common Core Standards Addressed:

*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.2b Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.3b Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.3e Decode two-syllable words following basic patterns by breaking the words into syllables.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.3c Decode multisyllable words.

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