August 22nd, 2010

R Blends Anyone?

R Blends in words

Is your child pronouncing R at the beginning of words now with no trouble?  Is speech practice going great?  Has your child made tremendous progress? If you’ve been working on words and sentences with R at the beginning, for example; ready, roll, raccoon, it might be time to move on to the next level.  If he can say words and sentences correctly about 8 out of 10 times,  then you’re ready for the next step.

Next in order of difficulty are R blends or clusters at the beginning of words.  Blends (clusters) are 2 or 3 consonants together.  Words with R blends might include; truck, three, shrink, free, grow.

It’s important to remember you’re not expecting the child to say these sounds in sentences yet.  Your child is still at the one word level for blends. You’re going to go through the same steps as R at the beginning of words. That means you can expect him to say “brick”, but not yet, “I see a brick”.  It’s much harder to remember to say a sound correctly in a sentence.

You’ll notice that in Ready for R the blends are in the blue section on the word list and in the poem on each page.  You’ll be able to go through the word lists and have your child read or repeat after you the R blend words.  Look at each picture and name all the items that have R blends.  Don’t forget to look closely at the pictures.  There are many more words to be found than just those in the word list.  Some words are repeated in the pictures on many pages.  Look for tree, grass, green and three, to name a few.

Review the teaching tips outlined in previous blogs if you need to. The same techniques apply to learning R blends. If you don’t have the book, make your own pictures or have your child draw them. Even I can draw a tree, make 3 lines or colour a green spot.  You want lots of chances to practise, so make not just 1, but 10 trees.  Make a cherry tree, a banana tree, an apple tree, etc.  As your child draws the fruit, say the word “tree.”  Help him by saying, “It’s a cherry ___”.  Let the child fill in the blank.

As you make your way through blends, don’t be surprised if some are easier to say than others. If your child can’t say “shr” words, for example, don’t keep modelling it.  Focus on the other blends and try “shr” at a later date.  If you don’t have Ready for R, any dictionary will help you find more R blend words.   Here are the blends you should think about teaching:


br bread, brake
cr cry, crown
dr drive, drip
fr friend, fry
gr grape, grab
pr pretty, prowl
shr shred, shrug
str string, straw
thr through, thread
tr try, trouble


Teaching Tip: Thinking of names is a fun way to talk about speech sounds.  There are lots of names that begin with R blends. Examples; Brian, Brenda, Freddy, Freda, Troy, Tracey.  Have fun with  names by adding unusual ones such as Brunehilda or Prunella.

Activity:  Print R blend names on pieces of paper or recipe cards. You read the names first, modelling correct sounds.  Ask the child to repeat after you.  Next, turn to the “Wrestling Rhinos” page in Ready for R. Look at all the animals in the crowd.  The child can decide which animal matches the name on the card. Prompt the answer with the phrase,  “This one is ____”.

Alternately, find a picture book containing lots of different animals. Complete the activity the same way as described above.

Worksheet: More activities are included on this worksheet:

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One Response to “R Blends Anyone?”

  1. Colleen says:

    “Ready for R” was an easy to use book to help my daughter with her R’s. The 3 sections and colourful pages are a great way to organize the use of R. My daughter is only five so many of the words are hard for her to read on her own but it’ll be great that “Taylor” is starting to pronounce her own name properly now!

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