Multisyllable Words


“I don’t need help with beginning readers, but what about third and fourth graders who know how to decode almost everything but have some difficulty with multisyllable words?”


This is a common problem, and is usually caused by guessing at a multisyllable word rather than sounding it out by syllables.

I would begin with a quick check of basic skills first.
Check out all review pages in Phonics Pathways up to page 75, including the short-vowel review page on page 16. Page 75 is a good test for skills learned up to this point, to make sure your students are reading with phonics as opposed to memorizing the words. It isn’t too likely they have memorized these nonsense words!

As far as multisyllable words go, turn to page 80 in Reading Pathways and have students read these mini-pyramids first alone, to ensure they are reading accurately by syllables. Then read these words in the sentence provided.

Finally, go to page 108 and try some of the more complex multisyllable word pyramids. Kids usually love doing these exercises, especially the “earthquake pyramid.” They consider it more of a game than a lesson!  ~Dolores

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