Word Families

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Word Families


Looking for patterns in words helps readers expand their vocabulary.


  • Find two or three words that are part of a word family
  • Ask the reader to read one of the words
  • Ask the reader to pronounce the sound of the first letter
  • Ask the reader to pronounce the word family (the combination of letters that repeat and rhyme)
  • Brainstorm more words that follow the same pattern 

Did you know? 

To be considered a word family, the combined letters are repeated in each word and rhyme. An understanding of consonant sounds and rhyming are required to teach word families. 

See It In Action


Making word families with letter tiles


Use a word from the reader's personal dictionary to make a Word Slide

Read More:

According to researchers Wylie and Durrell, there are 37 common word families: ack, ain, ake, ale, all, ame, an, ank, ap, ash, at, ate, aw, ay, eat, ell, est, ice, ick, ide, ight, ill, in, ine, ing, ink, ip, it, ock, oke, op, ore, ot, uck ,ug, ump, unk. 

Add Complexity:

Challenge intermediate to advanced readers to find exceptions to the rule that word families have common spelling or pronunciation.