Orton Gillingham Coaching: Teaching Consonant LE Syllables, Tools & Strategies
In Orton Gillingham we learn to use Syllable Types to label syllables. Eventually, this leads to syllable division. Consonant + LE is the fifth syllable pattern you teach in Orton Gillingham in the REVLOC system of syllable patterns.
Consonant + LE Syllable Pattern
The Consonant LE Syllable pattern is a Consonant with an LE, in words like cuddle and title. It is always found at the end of words. In labeling syllables, Consonant LE is labeled as L – the L in revLoc.
Initial Terms Needed to Get Consonant LE
A student must know what a vowel and consonant are to be able to grasp the concept of syllables.
By the time you teach CLE words, you will have taught Closed, Open, Magic E and R-Controlled vowel patterns. And you likely have started with VCCV syllable division and taught VCV division. So now your student should have a grasp on the definition of a syllable and be familiar with dividing words into syllables.
Teaching Consonant LE
Teaching this, I would call it a syllable pattern from the start. This is the one time I do not say, “get out your phonogram cards.”
The main way to teach Consonant LE is to get students familiar with the syllable type – having them read and spell these syllables and getting familiar with what they are.
Tell students, Consonant LE will always be at the end of a word, consonant+ LE has no vowel sound. The e is the only vowel in the syllable and it is silent.
What are the syllables?
-ble, -dle, -fle, -gle, -kle, -ple, -tle and -zle
-cle, as in circle is also a Consonant + LE word, but it is more advanced, so you can include it, but you might want to save it for later lessons rather than beginning (after teaching the -kle).
Dividing Consonant + LE words
Teaching Consonant + LE you tell a student, When you see the Consonant PLUS LE go to the end and count back three.
They count back and divide.
There are two types of Consonant LE patterns. “PUZZLE” Words – these words will have a VC/CLE (closed syllable/CLE) pattern. The other pattern is “TABLE” Words. This will be V/CLE (open syllable/CLE) pattern.
In PUZZLE words, students underline the vowel and the Consonant LE syllable. Go to the end count back three and divide. The first syllable is closed and vowel is short and the second is Consonant LE.
A note: normally we keep blends and digraphs together when dividing, so if you have a word like hundred, the hun-dred – both are closed syllables, but you would not separate the DR because it is a blend. In a consonant LE syllable, you DO break apart the blend or digraph.
Words like SPACKLE, you still have the student go to the end, count back three and divide. The division would be SPAC-KLE (closed/CLE). This keeps the vowel short.
You are also going to have some exceptions, like the words TANGLE or ANGLE. According to the rule, you divide between the N-G so it should be TAN-GLE – short a, but it’s not. This is just the nature of phonics. It is most of the time. I treat these words as advanced and make sure students know the rule first, so I would not use these words in beginning lessons.
The other thing to note is that as you advance, you will add in words like TUR-TLE, so you have a R-Controlled syllable in that first part.
The key is to start simple and get more advanced.
Ways to Teach Consonant LE Pattern
The first activity I like to do is just have cards from my scope and sequence workbook two. I go through a lesson of just talking about the syllable type. Letting the students know this pattern is always at the end of a word and the e is silent.
Read the syllable and have students spell the syllable so you know they can hear each sound.
Next, I incorporate these cards into a syllable activity, mixing them with Open, Closed, Magic E and R-controlled syllables. You can make this fun.
This is a free download of a game I use with students.
In a classroom, you could hand out sheets of big paper with a syllable on it. Have the students each go up and write their syllable under the correct column on a whiteboard. Or tape it to the board.
Have students start with PUZZLE Words doing worksheets. Underline the vowel and the Consonant + LE, go back three and divide. Code each syllable, in PUZZLE words it will be closed and C+LE, which is indicated with an L (as in revLoc). Have the student read the first syllable and the second syllable then the word as a whole. Be sure you are interactive with this. They need to read the words out loud and write them.
Introduce students to TABLE words. Underline the vowel and the CLE, go back three and divide. Code each syllable, in TABLE words it will be Open and CLE, which is indicated with an L (as in revLoc). Have the student read the first syllable and the second syllable then the word as a whole.
Use nonsense words. To make sure students are grasping the concept, use nonsense words. Treat them the same as real words in the dividing and reading of the words.
Practice, practice, practice dividing words. This not only gives students the tools for dividing, it helps them be familiar with these words in groups. Also have students reading words and sentences. When students are ready, give dictation.
Give students two words and ask them to circle the real word. This is after they practiced words, you wouldn’t do this as a first exercise.
For example, is it gaggle, or gagle? Bibble or Bible? Fizzle or fizle? Mapple or maple?
A student now has five syllable types to compare to one another, closed, Magic E syllable, open, r-controlled and now, Consonant LE.
While it’s kind of weird to begin with telling students this is a syllable type with no vowel sound, once they grasp it, seeing the consonant + le and going back three, it can be fun for the students.
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