Orton Gillingham for All

Be Open to Open Syllables

on March 12, 2013

We’ve gone through the closed syllable and silent (or magic) E syllable. Next in the REVLOC system of classifying syllables is the open syllable.

An open syllable is one with a vowel at the end of the syllable, making the vowel long. In comparison with the closed syllable, which is closed in by another consonant that makes the vowel short, the open syllable does not have a consonant after it, and so the vowel “says its name.”

For example:

Word:    me                        The e is long because there is no consonant closing it in. It is an open syllable.

Add a d: med                     The e is short because the consonant d is closing it in, making it short.

Now look at it in a word where it is a syllable to be separated out. This is how someone learning English can distinguish it is long.

Example: baby                  ba-by (both syllables are open)

Underline the vowels.  With Rabbit words, we learned that the syllables would be divided between the consonants. Not so with open.  In a word like baby, we use what is called Tiger words.

The pattern is: v/c – the rule is, after the first vowel, split the word.

(I will go more in depth about the different kind of division rules in later posts. For now, just know that the Open Syllable is open and it makes a vowel say its name. That is the most important information to take from this writing.)

Our pattern for a closed syllable is: consonant-vowel-consonant (cvc), as in pin

The pattern of the Magic E syllable is: vowel-consonant-silent e (vce) as in pine (or using it in a word, al-pine, di-vine (the i in the first syllable is a schwa))

Here are more examples of Tiger words where the first syllable is open.



Mixture of open with closed








Mixture of open with Silent (Magic)E









Words with Two Open Syllables






4 responses to “Be Open to Open Syllables

  1. […] far, I have covered R, E, O, C in the REVLOC system of breaking down words to provide rules for easier word pronunciation. […]

  2. […] of the syllable types except one in the REVLOC system of syllable division. We have covered C, E, O, R, and L. The final type of syllable is Vowel Teams – the V.  These vowel teams are vowel […]

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