What are Consonant blends?
Blends are clusters of two or three consonants which appear together in a word. Each letter in a blend makes a sound and these sounds are then blended together. For example, in the word play, the p and the l must be blended together to read the full word. In the word scrape, three consonants make up the blend: s, c, and r.
Blends are not to be confused with digraphs and trigraphs, where a group of two or three letters respectively corresponds to a single sound.
For example, the word splash contains a three-consonant blend of s, p, and l. Each letter makes its own sound. These sounds are blended together into spl-. On the other hand, the -sh in splash is a digraph because two letters make a single sound.
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Learning the alphabet is the first step on every child’s reading journey. Research shows that children with prior knowledge of the alphabet learn to read more easily and more fluently, so it’s vitally important that the alphabet is taught in a playful and engaging way.
When learning their ABCs, children have to understand that each letter has a different shape and name, and that letters combine to form words. By making it clear that the letter A is not just for apple but also for avocado, children learn that A makes a constant sound across different words. Learning the most common sound that each letter makes is an essential, foundational skill that will be built on later when children encounter phonics.
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