Know the Sounds of the Suffix -ED (Video) and Fun Activities

Teaching the Sounds of the Suffix -ed

Most people know the sound -ed is a suffix, but unless a person has been taught or thought about it, many may not realize that -ed says three sounds: /ed/ (as in the name Ed), /d/ and in loved, and /t/ as in kissed.

Drill Cards in Two Places

The -ed drill card is in two places. First, it’s in the Consonant Reading Deck, used as a phonogram drill.  

It’s not so much about -ed being a suffix at this point, as a letter combination with three sounds.  

The /ed/ sound is also used after a word ending in a d or t (the letter, not the sound). For example, melted or sanded. Those words will have the sound /ed/ for the -ed.

Second, -ed drill card is in the Suffix Deck.

The Sounds of -ed and 1st Suffixes are one right after another on the scope and sequence – the point is to make sure the student grasps that -ed has three sounds before diving suffixes.

So how do we do that?


Activity #1

First, use your reading consonant deck teach the three sounds of -ed.

Do this before you go in depth about suffixes. Get the student automatic with the three sounds and the keywords.

Use a remember sentence: He rented a boat, jumped in and sailed away. -OR- He rented a boat, sailed away and fished all day.

Activity #2

A great first activity to getting a student used to hearing the sounds is sorting. The sheet below is from my Sounds of -ed Packet. You print and cut out cards and have the student sort the words by their -ed sound.

At first, you go through it with them. This isn’t so much about reading these words as it is about hearing what the -ed is saying.

Another fun thing to do with these cards is print two copies, cut them out and play a game of match or pairs – they turn over two and try to match the words. They have to read each word on the card. You can also have them say, what sound each makes. If they get a match, keep the cards. For two players, whoever has the most at the end wins.

Activity #3

A worksheet for this concept is to have words and columns and the words go to the sound-appropriate column. If you are working with an older student, they might be able to read the words easily, which is great, but we want them to hear the sound too.

In all of these activities, even worksheets, be as auditory as possible – even if students can do the worksheets alone, be sure to talk to them about it. Especially if you see “problem words” – if they list a /d/ as a /t/ word, ask what they heard. Talk about other words that sound similar.

Activity #4

Syllabication is another factor. When we talk about one syllable words with the -ed suffix, the /d/ and /t/ sound will stay one syllable words, but the /ed/ sound will always result in a two-syllable word.

For example, kiss is kissed (T), flag is flagged (d), paint is painted (ed), it’s now two syllables.

In the Sounds of -ed Packet, there is a worksheet where a student circles the suffix, -ed, and says what sound and how many syllables the word is. You could also do this with dictation. Dictate words, ask the student how many syllables.

Activity #5

Speaking of dictation… you will want to dictate words. There are a couple of types of dictation you can do.

One, dictate words and ask the student to write the word. Be sure they read the words out loud. Secondly, you can also ask that they write to the side what sound the -ed is making.

If there is a mistake, it’s a great time to talk about what the student is hearing. Ask questions and talk about the different sounds.

Activity #6

Give students phrases and sentences. Start with short, easy phrases and graduate to sentences and short stories with -ed words.

Activity #7

This activity is about the /d/ and /t/ sounds, and making sure students know the difference in words that just end in /t/ and /d/ versus, the sound being the past tense of a word.

First, you can have written words and go through them and discuss the difference. If kids are younger, read the words and discuss and have them sort. More advanced, kids can read out loud and sort.

You will also want to have auditory exercises where students hear the word and write, /d/ /t/ or suffix -ed. For example, you say, sand and they write on a piece of paper, /d/ or you say, snowed, and they know it’s the past tense of snow, and they write, -ed (this is not a sound for this exercise, it is the suffix -ed). In this activity, the /ed/ sound is not important because it is such a distinctive sound.

This is about making sure a student knows some words sound like /t/ and /d/, but they just end in t and d, and other words are the past tense of a verb and it sounds like /t/ and /d/.

Final Word

The main point of introducing -ed as a phonogram prior to introducing it as a formal suffix is to make sure students know there are three sounds -ed makes. This whole concept is very auditory in nature. You want the student to hear the sounds.

You want a student to hear the sounds then move to knowing they are using the past tense of a word then move to knowing that other words end in the /d/ and /t/ sound, but some are the past tense of a word and others just end in those sounds.

Then you introduce -ed as part of other suffixes like -er, -ing and -ness. It’s one layer building upon the next. It’s a thorough way of teaching the suffixes as a whole.

Sounds of -ed Packet featured in the video:
Also, find -ed taught in Scope & Sequence Workbook 1:
Want even more help? Visit Teachers Pay Teachers:
Or find plenty more at OGforALL:

Leave a Reply