Learning to read is such an exciting time for kids. Once they learn letter sounds, they have the key they need to open the world of reading. And one of the things this key opens is the ability to learn blends and the words that contain them. Blends are consonants that come at the beginning or end of words. Let’s chat about what blends are (specifically, ending blends) and why they’re important. We’ll also cover a few quick and easy blending activities, including my Ending Blends Reading Intervention Mats!
Ending blends (sometimes called final consonant blends) are just like beginning blends, except that they come at the end of words – shocker! A blend is 2 or 3 consonant letters next to each other that aren’t separated by vowels. Although you hear the sound each letter makes in a blend, blends are said in a quick, blended manner.
Learning blends is an essential part of reading because so many words contain them. And, they’re best learned when students have mastered letter sounds, CVC words, and beginning blends. It’s important to follow a specific phonics scope and sequence as you intentionally introduce phonics patterns in your classroom. If you need a phonics scope and sequence to follow- I’ve got one for you! You can check out my free Phonics Scope and Sequence when you sign up for my newsletter here!
Practicing blends is also important because it helps readers blend other strings of letters together. I’m excited to share some engaging ending blends activities with you!
Simple Activities For Ending Blends
Let’s take a look at some simple activities you can use in the classroom or at home when you’re focusing on ending blends. We also have a blog post and activities that you can find here that focus on beginning blends. You can compile these activities together if you’re doing a unit on blends in the classroom or in the comfort of your own home.
Sticky Note Find
If you’d like to make any kid happy, give them a stack of sticky notes! Grab a stack and write one ending blend on each sticky note. Going around the room (or the house), students can place sticky noes on furniture or items that contain that ending blend. If you find that your classroom is a bit limited on ending blends, feel free to place images of items, places, etc. where students can place their ending blend sticky notes.
Beginning Blend or Ending Blend?
This activity is for when students have mastered beginning and ending blends. Create a list of words that contain words with beginning or ending blends – the list should be a mix of both. Pass out a copy to each student. Students will circle or highlight the blends found in each of the words. As an added bonus, they can rewrite the blends in a “beginning” column or “ending” column.
Ending Blend Match
This one requires just a bit of prep, but this one is worth it! It serves as a game and a great literacy center that can be done independently. Print off images of words that contain ending blends (bolt, milk, desk, etc.). Then, make two copies so that each image has a match. If you’re looking for images, try my Reading Intervention Ending Blends Mats – each page has an image of an ending blend you can use! Consider laminating so the game can last a long time.
Students play the game as if they’re playing Memory. Simply line up the cards face down on the table. Students flip over two cards at a time and say the word out loud. If they have matching ending blends, they keep the cards and go again. If not, students flip the cards back over and it’s the next player’s turn. Another variation of this game is to have images that contain the ending blend instead of words. Based upon the needs of your students, this could be an option as well!
Spin and Say
Kids love spinning games, and this one is no exception. Not only will kids have fun with this game, it will also help practice ending blends. Best of all, it’s easy to prep and you’ll be able to assemble it all with things you have around your room!
Draw (or print) a circle and divide it up into however many slices (4-6 is a good start). In each slice, write an ending blend. Students grab a paperclip and place it in the center of the spinner. Then, they put the tip of their pencil in the center of the paperclip and give it a spin. Whichever ending blend they land on, they will need to think of a word that contains each blend. For example, if they spin and the clip lands on -mp, they’ll say “stamp”, “lamp”, etc. For differentiation, students who are ready can write down the words they say.
Ending Blends Reading Intervention Mats
These reading mats are so effective because students are actually working on a variety of skills on just one mat: blending, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. It’s actually incredible what these little mats can do since they focus on so many components of literacy. You’ll want this resource in your toolbox because it helps early and emergent readers to develop early literacy skills. It also helps students practice decoding and builds readers’ confidence. And I know what you’re thinking: These mats can do all of that with no prep? Yes – they certainly can. 🙂
When you purchase these mats, you’ll receive 50 Reading Intervention Mats that focus on ending blends (s blends, t blends, l blends, m blends, and n blends). Simply print out the pages and use them how you’d like within your classroom. Each child can have his or her own packet or just one copy. You may choose to slip them through a dry erase pocket or laminate them for a literacy center. Rather, you may choose to do these together as a class up on the board. However you decide to use these magical mats, they are sure to be effective.
This resource is for teachers and reading interventionists alike, but can also be used by tutors, special education teachers, classroom helpers, ESL teachers, and parents looking to give their child a bit of extra supplementing at home.
And I haven’t even told you the best part yet: these mats are GROWING! New phonics components are being added regularly before the bundle will be complete. By purchasing my Reading Intervention Mats GROWING Bundle, you’ll get access to a variety of phonics patterns using this same format. I love the consistency that these mats provide throughout these differing phonics patterns because it allows children to focus on a new skill in a familiar way.
With these activities and these mats, your students will be on their way to mastering ending blends in no time!