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Word families (phonograms)

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Here is a list of rimes to use in word family activities. The original list from Wylie and Durrell (1970) identified 37 high-frequency English spelling patterns, or phonograms. We narrowed that list slightly by including only the irregular patterns, since students need more practice at these than regular rimes such as -at and -op.

Rimes are listed in alphabetical order, though that is not the order they should be taught in. It is better to begin with rimes that are highly differentiated (such as -ack and -ore) so that students get the idea. Later, you can teach similar rimes in the same lesson (such as -ail and -ain) to ensure that students can detect small differences.

  1. -ack as in back.
  2. -ail as in snail.
  3. -ain as in rain.
  4. -ake as in cake.
  5. -ale as in whale.
  6. -ame as in game.
  7. -ank as in sank.
  8. -ash as in trash.
  9. -ate as in plate.
  10. -aw as in saw.
  11. -ay as in say.
  12. -eed as in seed.
  13. -ell as in bell.
  14. -est as in best.
  15. -ew as in few.
  16. -ide as in hide.
  17. -ick as in kick.
  18. -ight as in light.
  19. -ill as in fill.
  20. -ine as in nine.
  21. -ing as in sing.
  22. -ink as in wink.
  23. -ock as in clock.
  24. -oke as in joke.
  25. -ook as in book.
  26. -ore as in more.
  27. -uck as in duck.
  28. -ump as in jump.
  29. -unk as in skunk.

For a more focused list of phonograms based on research into their frequency of occurrence and regularity, see Super Word Families.