Double Consonant Activities

Double Consonant Activities

We just released a new week of double consonant activities in the form of an interactive, no-prep video warm-up. The activities are called Word Builder.

In this post, I’ll share:

  • When to use Double Consonants
  • The Floss Rule and Double Consonants with Suffixes
  • Details About the Double Consonant Warm-Up Activities

Word Builder presents students with a picture for context and the word broken into syllables. Students have to correctly spell the word before time is out. When the time is up, they receive immediate feedback on the correct spelling.

Take a look at this quick video.

When to use Double Consonant?

There are two instances where we use a double consonant: the floss rule and short vowels in a multi-syllabic word. In each instance, the consonant following the short vowel is doubled. Some people call this the doubling-up rule.

The Floss Rule

The floss rule is a spelling pattern that doubles the ending consonant. It features:

  1. Short vowel
  2. Single-syllable
  3. Ends with ff, ll, or ss

Some examples of words with the floss rule are buff, sniff, hill, bell, moss, and truss.

I’ve always wondered where the word “Floss Rule” comes from. I looked it up and found this answer:

[pullquote align=”normal”]FLOSS (Fonemic Latin-One Spelling System) is a complex system of phonemic pronunciation that is used in dictionaries and other places to help with correct pronunciation of American words. The first Floss spelling rule is a rule of thumb used to help students understand when to double the letters f, l and s in words.  [/pullquote]


Double Consonants with Suffixes

Suffixes and inflected endings (here’s a free warm-up unit on the topic) also use fit with the double consonant pattern as long as there is a short vowel before the consonant.

  • drop > dropped
  • split > splitting

You can see there’s a pattern with the syllable before the suffix. The base word ends with a CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) pattern. Compare that to these words, which do not have the CVC pattern:

  • wimp > wimped
  • splint > splinter

These words have CVCC patterns in the syllable before the suffix. Of course, that also means there is no doubling of the final consonant.

Spiral WarmUps - Double Consonants Videos

The Double Consonant Warm-Up

The double consonant activities in the warm-up do not go into all of the technical teachings. That’s best reserved for your mini-lesson or small-group. The warm-ups reiterate the important patterns and allow students to practice them in five short, spiraling warm-ups.

Who is this Word Builder for?

This week of Word Builder warm-ups are perfect for grades 2-3. Students reading on DRA levels 20-36 will benefit the most, but there are other applications as well.

If you teach students in grades 3-5, the double consonant pattern is critical for spelling and decoding success. The Word Builder activities can be used to strengthen these skills with an intervention group or English Language Learners.

These Word Builder activities can be used to strengthen double consonant skills with an intervention group or English Language Learners. Click To Tweet

How do I use the Double Consonant Activities?

Like all of our warm-ups, there is no-prep. We recommend using them as a warm-up after the spelling pattern has been taught in at least one mini-lesson. Here’s a sample lesson format:

  • 5 Minutes: Teach a double consonant mini-lesson on Monday.
  • 3-5 Minutes: Use the first double consonant video on Monday or Tuesday to let students practice the spelling pattern.
  • 3-5 minutes: Use the second double consonant video on Tuesday or Wednesday for spiral review.
  • In the next week, spiral back to the double consonant spelling pattern. Learn more about the science behind long-term retention and waiting a week here.
    • Week 2, Monday: Double consonant video.
    • Week 2, Tuesday: Double consonant video.
    • Week 3, Wednesday: Double consonant video.

After this sort of lesson/warm-up sequence, 80-90% of your students will develop a strong proficiency in the double consonant pattern. Continued use in other word study warm-ups such as our Spelling 3 unit, will also reinforce double consonants. Before you know it, you’ll have stronger readers and writers!

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