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AW (saw) Sound Word List

By Rodney Everson

The /aw/ sound is the nineteenth vowel sound in the OnTrack Reading curriculum and is in a category all its own. Indeed, it might not even be a distinct sound in your region.

Of the 7,000 words in the database constructed from a popular children’s dictionary, 51 of them are one-syllable words in which the vowel sound is /aw/. There are four different spellings, "aw" (claw), "au" (sauce), "augh" (taught), and "ough" (thought).

The /aw/ sound is difficult to deal with in a curriculum because in some regions it’s quite distinct from the /o/ sound in hot and in others it’s not. The choice made here is to force words where /aw/ is spelled with the letter "a" into the /o/ list (hot, want, wall, was) for spelling purposes, while establishing an /aw/ list for the spellings "aw", "au", "augh", and "ough". In regions where there is no distinction between the /o/ and /aw/ sounds, the spellings on this page should be taught as spelling alternatives for the /o/ sound, rather than as a different vowel sound.

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Comprehensive Word Lists

Features over 100 word lists built from 7,000 words input from a children's dictionary. Lists are organized by vowel and consonant sounds and cover most common spellings. Useful in the classroom for building curriculum aids such as short stories that emphasize specific sounds and spellings. Multisyllable words are also included, chunked according to the method taught in the OnTrack Reading Advanced Code Phonics Workbook.