When the same letters make more than one sound, you really know that English is Weird.
The letters C and G can make hard or soft sounds.
C is hard before A, O & U. With the others, a soft C will do.
G is often hard before A, O & U. With the others, a soft G will often do.
(But this is not always true, which you know if you get a gift given to you!)
When the K sound is heard at the beginning of a word:
K takes i & e, C takes the other three.
When the K sound is heard at the end of a word:
A CK is often needed after a vowel that is short. The K needs help to make it work.
With a consonant between it is a new task, it takes just a k so remember to ask. Drink milk, dunk a basket, or honk at an elk: the consonant means there is only a k.
Don’t panic, but there’s one more thing to see. Some two syllable words with a short I only need c. (like a picnic in the attic, it’s a little like magic.)
The rest of the time, a k is just fine. For words with bossy r, and vowel teams that are long or diphthongs, a k on it’s own will park. (The beak of a hawk, a look at a book, a weak croak from a throat, a stork with a fork, a dog that will bark.)
A set of anchor charts, and worksheets and word sorts for the /k/ sound at the beginning and end of words is available at TeachersPayTeachers. Learn more about spelling the K sound from thisreadingmama, and WATCH ck at Kids vs Phonics.
Note that many online games require flash and may not work well on mobile devices. Downloading the Puffin browser can be helpful.
PLAY ONLINE Picture Palace from literactive.
The letter S can also make more than one sound. S can say snake, probably everyone knows. It can also say /z/ when a nose smells a rose.
We have met OO/OO, one of the diphthongs. Which might be short, or could be long. More vowels that can vary are OW, EA, IE. The letter Y can be Tricky indeed with the sounds it can make, more than three! (it can say a short i like in gym.)
Y at the end of a one syllable word, often says a long “I” as in fly.
AR can sound like ER, as in pillar or dollar. So can OR, when you start your motor. When there is an E before AR all bets are off. It might be ER when you learn, or maybe a long e that you hear. It can even be a polar bear on a chair.
Last, but not least of all, is the amazing schwa. Any vowel can make this lazy “uh” sound, so watch out for schwas all around!
These guidelines may help you to figure out the many sounds you will discover all about.
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