Where am I in the Reading Universe Taxonomy?
This is a common difficulty for children. For some it’s because they were previously taught that blends spell one sound unit, not separate sounds.
Children who struggle to segment blends need to be explicitly taught that the sounds spelled with a consonant blend are separate sounds.
And as they work to master this, here’s an example of how you can offer them some positive error correction, so they don’t get discouraged:
Below I’ve shared some examples of phoneme manipulation practice that you can use to help children solidify this. Since this a phonological exercise, you won’t use letters. You can draw blank lines on paper (one line for each sound) on paper or use felts (also one for each sound) to explicitly show that each sound is separate.
Start with one three-sound word, and add other sounds to show blends.
For the word clap:
Then try a three-sound blend. Here are two examples:
For the word shrimp:
For the word strap:
Note: The blends spelled 'shr' and 'str' can be difficult for many children. Students may pronounce shrimp as skrimp, and they may pronounce street as skreet. These patterns are often influenced by speech or dialect. (Linda Farrell, 2023)