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Where am I in the Reading Universe Taxonomy?

Word Recognition
Phonological Awareness
Language Comprehension
Reading Comprehension
Phonemic Awareness

How can I help students segment and blend the phonemes in words that begin with a vowel sound?


It is common for students to have difficulty segmenting and blending the phonemes in a word that begins with a vowel sound, like odd or up. Children often have had more practice with segmenting and blending words that begin with consonants. So when we ask them to segment words where the vowel is at the beginning, they can get thrown off.  

The good news is … if children can segment and blend sounds in words that begin with a consonant sound, then they have the skills they need to segment and blend sounds in words that begin with a vowel sound. 

Here’s a simple solution!

Review how to identify beginning sounds, and include words that begin with a vowel sound, such as ice, aim, each, oak, add, edge, odd, and up. Ask students to only identify the initial sound.

You might say:

What is the first sound in ache?


Continue the practice with other words. Then, once students are able to identify the vowel at the beginning of the word, continue the practice but ask students to identify all of the sounds.

You may ask:

What are the sounds in the word ice?

/ī/, /s/

As you continue to practice segmenting and blending (and also manipulation) of phonemes, incorporate words with both consonant and vowel sounds. This little review of identifying the beginning sounds in words that begin with a vowel should do the trick!