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Exception 2 - Markers


1. Teach the four markers, "ck," "tch," "x, " and "dge/dg"

2. Introduce the Second Exception to the Main Rule.

3. Practice applying the Second Exception.

Pre-Class Preparation:

1. Write on the board: Main Rule: Stop each chunk after the vowel sound and say the First Vowel Sound.

2. Write on the board: Second Exception: Add any marker to the chunk.

3. Write the following on the board: Markers are spellings that mark the sound before them as the First Vowel Sound. The markers are x, ck, tch and dge.

4. Familiarize yourself with the concept of a Marker, and the definition used here.

5. Select the words you wish to use for this lesson from the word list at the bottom of this page, or from this PDF of the list:

Download the PDF: Word List for Lesson 8

Class time elapsed: 0 minutes

In-Class Procedures

1. Refer the class to the definition of a Marker on the board.

2. Ask the class if they know the sounds represented by each Marker, first x, then ck, then tch, and finally dge. Answers: /k/s/ (two sounds at once; the only letter that does this), /k/, /ch/ and /j/, respectively.

3. Write the word quack on the board. Underline the Marker, ck, and then point to the letter a in quack and tell the class that a single vowel letter will always come before a Marker and that it will almost always be the First Vowel Sound. Therefore, this word must be quack and shouldn't be confused with quake.

4. Write lick on the board and point out that it can’t be pronounced like because the Marker ck marks the vowel sound as the First Vowel Sound, /i/.

5. Write sock on the board and ask what it is. Again, point out that it must be sock, and not soak, because of the Marker marking the vowel sound as the First Vowel Sound.

6. Refer to the Marker x and ask the class for one-syllable words ending with the letter x. List them on the board and show the class how each has a single vowel letter in front of it, and that each of them is a First Vowel Sound.

7. Refer to the Marker dge in the definition. Write badge on the board and show the class that the dge represents the /j/ sound. Ask for more examples and list them on the board, again demonstrating the First Vowel Sound in each example.

8. Refer to the Marker tch in the definition. Write hatch on the board and show the class that the tch represents the /ch/ sound. Ask for more examples and list them on the board, again demonstrating the First Vowel Sound in each example.

Note: A few words violate the Marker concept. The word catch is properly pronounced /c/a/ch/, but many people say /c/e/ch/. Two other tch words violate the Marker concept, watch, where the leading w has the same influence as it does in words like wall and waffle, and butch or butcher, where the vowel sound follows the pattern in bull and bush. For now, don’t get into this unless the class brings it up. Cuckoo is another word that violates the Marker concept, but such exceptions are rare.

Time elapsed: 8 minutes

1. Review the Main Rule, the First Exception, and the new Second Exception. Explain that since a Marker indicates the vowel sound in front of it, it is added to the chunk, just as doubled consonants are added to the chunk under the First Exception.

2. Write hatchet on the board and have a student underline the Marker. Then tell the student draw a vertical line after the first chunk. If he draws it after the letter a, tell him that the Second Exception tells him to add the Marker to the chunk. Have the student draw the vertical line after the Marker tch.

3. Repeat this process with several words from the lists below, or from the PDF.

Note: When working with the dg list, point out that the Marker dge becomes just dg in a multisyllable word because the letter e usually ends up either changed to an i (as in judging) or ends up as the vowel sound (or part of the vowel sound) in the next chunk (as in fidg-et and badg-er).

Time elapsed: 15 minutes

The Word Lists

Words with ck: jacket, reckless, nickname, sickness, cricket, sticker, lucky

Words with tch: kitchen, matches, pitcher, stretcher, catchy

Words with x: expand, expect, excuse, toxic, boxer, vixen

Words with dg: fidget, budget, midget, gadget, badger, judging

Some 3-syllable words: rickety, maximum, flexible, exotic, execute, fidgeted
How to chunk them: rick e ty, max i mum, flex i ble, ex o tic, ex e cute, catch a ble, fidg e ted