Lion Words. In Lion words there will be a reversal of vowel teams. For example, io as in lion, rather than oi as in oil. Another example is ia as in dial, rather than ai as in rain. When a student sees the reversal, it means, in most cases, the team will be divided (split up) and the first vowel will be long.
◊ In Lion Words, these are vowels that are together, but they are not vowel teams and you would never teach this concept before teaching vowel teams.
◊ Examples: Eon is e on, aorta is a or ta, viola is vi ol a
Poem Words. In Poem words, it’s a little more complicated, in that there will be recognizable vowel teams, but they are unstable and will still split up. So a student will need to “test” the word to see if it make sense.
◊ If you go back to the teaching of each vowel team, notice there are notes of placement. For examples: ue is usually at the end of a word. If it’s in a different position, most likely it will split when dividing. That’s one way of catching the unstable teams.
◊ Examples: Poem (oe is usually at the end as in toe, here it is in the middle, so it splits) po em,
◊ But, it isn’t always that obvious. A word like fruit keeps the vowel team in tact. A word like fluid, it splits. If a student tries to say, fl/oo/d, it doesn’t work. But, fl/ū/ /ĭ/d, does work.
◊ This is where a rich vocabulary comes in handy and why these VV words are so far later in the Scope & Sequence than the other division rules.
◊ Diphthongs are two vowels making two separate sounds, but blended together make a new sound. Examples oi saying “oi” as in oil or ou saying “ou” as in out.
◊ Digraphs are two consonants together making one new sound, as in sh, or two vowels together making one new sound, as in ai saying /ā/ or oe saying /ō/.
◊ A word like eon, where the vowels end up divided, is not a diphthong or a digraph because they do not make a new sound, the vowels are divided and each make their own sounds. A word like boa where it could have been a vowel digraph or any word where it could have been a diphthong, we can call those “unstable digraphs and diphthongs” (just to give them a name) and divide them accordingly.
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