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Step 10: Huge Words!

Breaking Up A Big Word Example

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Huge Words Definitions:
A syllable is a unit of pronunciation with one vowel sound. It could be the whole word or it could be part of a word. The vowel sound in a syllable is made by one or more vowels.
∙One syllable word: bike.
∙Two syllable word eagle.
∙Three syllable word: elephant.

Huge words are syllables brought together to make a word. The vowel sounds make our chins go down when we speak.  Vowel sounds create syllables.  Place your fingers under your chin.  Say the word “table” out loud.  You can feel your jaw drop two times.  First for the open syllable “ta”, then for the -cle syllable “ble.” 

Teaching Videos and Written Stories

VIDEO: Break up and put together big words

Breaking Up huge Words
Graphic: These examples show that as long as the word gets read, there are multiple ways to break up a word. 

Posters/Visuals Poster with short vowels

We use the following symbols and posters for the syllable types that we are putting together to build words:

6 syllable types poster
6 syllables Wall Poster
schwa poster
Schwa symbol

6 syllable cheat sheet 
6 syllable types poster
6 syllable cheat sheet
6 syllable types poster with drawings
6 syllable cheat sheet with drawings

PowerPoints and Google Slides PowerPoints for teaching short vowel words CVC Google Slides Icon

For the formatting of PowerPoints to be correct, click FILE, then DOWNLOAD, and download in Microsoft PowerPoint.

PowerPoint: Break up and Put together Big Words as in teaching video.

Can use anytime after Step 8:
PowerPoint Game: Syllable Jeopardy! 

Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeSyllable Jeopardy! starts with one syllable words at the $100 level and works up to 4 syllable words.  (Do this after step 8. All 6 syllable types are used, but there are only regular vowel teams, not diphthongs/digraphs.) For each question I have students write the word on a personal whiteboard, add the line(s) to show the syllable break(s) (for example: ta/ble) then over each syllable write the symbol for the syllable type (O, -cle).  You can also have teams play and everyone in the team must agree on the final answer for the team to earn the points.  I have all students (or teams) play all questions, so it is possible for every student to earn every point.

Teach Along the Way with Huge Words Teach along the way with short vowels


Compound words are 2 words with no space between them. Due to being complete words, they often break known “rules.” For example the Magic e comes at the end of the word, however, being at the end of the word “base” puts it in the middle of the word “baseball.”

Schwa endings: There are a group of endings with the schwa sound (-sion, -tion, -tious, -tient, -cion, -cial, -cious, -xion, -xious, -ture) where ci, ti, si and xi say /sh/. Teach and add schwa endings from the Big Sounds Pack to daily practice and see schwa wordlists below.

Morphology – building words with meaningful chunks. While learners start to become more comfortable with longer words and word parts, it is a good time to practice noticing that words are be built by adding prefixes and suffixes to a base word. This is the beginning of the study of morphology. Morphemes are the smallest units that have meaning (ie. incoming has 3 morphemes: in, come, ing).

Finding Morphemes and Making Words With Long Vowel Cheater Chunk -igh:
Click here for the -igh says the long /ī/ sound worksheet.
Directions: Highlight the -igh chunk in each title word. For the words below the title word, underline the title word and highlight the additional morphemes. (The title words on this page are each a single morpheme.) See Picture.

Tips Tips


The goal is to read words quickly. Breaking words into syllables helps us read unknown words. As long as the word gets read correctly, the exact method of breaking up the word counts as successful!

To Read:  Break words into syllables, read the word syllable by syllable, and if it does not make sense adjust from there.
To Spell: Say word in its syllables and spell one syllable at a time.

Quick strategy to use to break up unknown words – Strategy #1 for breaking up big words. We have found this to be the best, quickest and easiest way to get a start at breaking up big words. The goal is to get close enough that the words makes sense! If it works, it is correct!

Teaching/Learning Syllabication Guideline Sheet Here is more information about breaking up words into syllables.

Tips from Teaching/Learning Syllabication Guideline Sheet and Quick strategy to use to break up unknown words:

  1. Each syllable has a vowel sound; therefore each syllable has at least one vowel in it. (The vowel sound may be a vowel on its own, a vowel team, a magic e vowel, an r controlled vowel, a schwa, or a –cle syllable…)
  2. –cle is always a syllable (table, bubble)
  3. Twin consonants are always split into separate syllables (runner, rabbit)
  4. Blends are not usually split, but consonants that are not part of a blend usually are (silver, program)
  5. Look for words you know – compound words are separated (bookcase)
  6. Look for affixes you know (-ing, -ly, -ness, re-)
  7. Pronounce word correctly! As the years have passed, we have gotten lazy in our speaking, using the schwa often and sometimes almost making some syllables disappear altogether (sep/ar/ate, fam/il/y, in/ter/est)
  8. When reading an unknown word, see if it makes sense, if it doesn’t try syllabicating it a different way (quiet as a vowel team vs. qui/et as an open then closed syllable word). Also try other sounds (like the schwa sound) for vowels or emphasizing a different syllable.

If a word is not sounding right:
1. Close an open syllable
2. Change a vowel sound to schwa
3. Accent a different syllable
4. Change a syllable break (like splitting up 2 vowels to be in different syllables) For example the word oreo can’t be split o/reo. (This does not lead to correct pronunciation of this 3 syllable word. Another clue this is wrong is that eo is not a known vowel team.) Oreo could be split o/re/o or or/e/o).

Key and Directions for Materials Key

Blue Heart: Beginning, grades K-1K-1 Beginning
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-21-2 Growing
Pink Plus: intervention, challengeIntervention/Challenge

Bundle: Multiple types of materials (games, activities, stories…) bundled together.
Pack: Multiple pieces of the same type of material, for example a pack of books.

Directions for everything else:

More on the Directions Page

Sample Bundle

Sample Bundle contains samples of the stories, games, lists, flashcards, fluency pyramids, activities, spelling and more you will find in the practice section below.

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