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Word Families


To be considered a word family the combined letters are repeated in each word and rhyme. 


  • Find a word that contains a word family
  • Ask the learner to read the word
  • Ask the learner to pronounce the sound of the first letter 
  • Ask the learner to pronounce the word family (the combination of letters that repeat and rhyme)
  • Brainstorm other words that follow the same pattern 


Looking for patterns in words helps learners expand their vocabulary.

Did you know? 

An understanding of consonant sounds and rhyming are required to teach word families. 

See It In Action


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. 


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

Add Complexity:

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