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Introducing the Main Rule

Purpose

1. Introduce the main rule to be used when an unfamiliar multisyllable word is encountered.

2. Explain what a vowel sound is.

Pre-Class Preparation

1. Familiarize yourself with the material by studying the OnTrack Reading Multisyllable Method.

2. Decide whether to teach your entire class, or a selected group of students, and when to do so.

Class-Time Procedures

1. Explain to your students that you are going to spend about fifteen minutes of class time for the next ten classes describing a method of analyzing multisyllable words that will help them read unfamiliar words they encounter in their textbooks or other curriculum reading.

2. Write on the board: Main Rule: Stop each Chunk after the Vowel Sound and use the First Vowel Sound.

Time elapsed: 5 minutes or less

(The remaining time in this lesson will be devoted to explaining the term vowel sound used in the Main Rule.)

3. Ask the students what a vowel sound is.

4. Summarize their answers. It's likely that they will be vague, uncertain, or incomplete, but possibly not.

5. Explain that vowel sounds give words their volume.

6. Ask them if they know what volume means here.

7. Explain that it’s the same as volume on the radio or television, and that vowel sounds make words loud.

8. Demonstrate this concept by discussing the word fish. Get general agreement that fish has three sounds, a /f/, an /i/, and a /sh/ sound, and then make sure all are aware that the /i/ sound is the vowel sound in fish. Now, tell them that the entire class is going to yell fish, but without the vowel sound, /i/, as loud as you can. First, point out that this means you are all going to be yelling fsh (just /f/+/sh/, no /i/ sound.)

(As you do this, you’ll notice that you can all yell FSH as loud as you want and you’ll not be raising any ruckus that will draw attention from others in the school.)

9. Now, tell them you’re going to put the little /i/ sound back in and you’re all going to yell fish at the top of your lungs.

(It’s pretty obvious what the result will be, so use your classroom management skills to keep things under control at this point. Most kids are afraid to let loose in a one-on-one situation, but full-class behavior will likely differ.)

10. Make the point that it was that little /i/ sound (the vowel sound) that put all that volume into fish, and restate the concept: Vowel sounds give words their volume.

11. Summarize by telling the students that there are nineteen vowel sounds that you will be covering and challenge them to come up with fifteen of them on their own before the next class.

Time elapsed: 15 minutes or less.