Updated: Dec 3, 2020
This week I have worked with several students using Megawords 1
. One student is in 4th grade, one in 5th grade and one entering 10th grade. These students have worked in educational remediation with me for a school year so each of they already have mastered the letter/sound correspondences (Phonology), spelling patterns at the one and multi-syllable level (Orthography) and know syllable types.
We are now focusing our Word Study on Morphology and Megawords books are a well-organized tool to do this with. The first chapter deals with Anglo-Saxon morphemes, compound words. The words and exercises in the chapter thoughtfully lend themselves to an exploration of Anglo-Saxon words, the syllable types, the meaning of each morpheme, reading and spelling the words, the etymology of the words and fluency drills and self-monitoring of mistakes.
“Breakfast” was one of the words used this week with Joe. (Names are fictitious to protect the students). This word has two syllables that are divided between the Vowel Team syllable and the second Closed Syllable. Joe was responsible to identify what type of syllables made up the word and where the syllable boundaries are in the word.
Next the “ea” in break, was dealt with. Joe knows that most of the time “ea” is pronounced /ee/ and it is an example of Two Vowel Friends, however in this work the word is pronounced, /brake/ and when it is acting as a free morpheme in the compound word, breakfast, the “ea” vowel says /e/. We mapped the sounds in the word, break, onto short dashes and talked about the irregular sound of the “ea” and compared it to other words. b r ea k f a s t thread, spread, bread. The meaning and history of breakfast, breaking the night’s fast was researched
so Joe could understand its meaning and its etymological history.
Activities that can extend and deepen the lessons in Chapter 2 of Megawords, Book 1:
*students read the words on Page 12 across or down the page for accuracy
*Ask your student how they define a syllable, a single vowel and a closed syllable. Compare their definitions with the one written on Page 13.
*Page 15 – ask your student to identify the closed syllables in exercise 1 and why each syllable is or is not a closed syllable. A tool bar for this activity might include the following questions:
1. What is the vowel in each syllable?
2. Is the vowel a single vowel or a digraph or diphthong?
3. What is the sound of the single vowel?
4. What is the last letter in the syllable, a consonant or a vowel?
If the answer to # 2 is a single vowel, #3 is the short sound, #4 is a consonant, the syllable is closed.
Page 15 Exercise 2 Ask your student what they already know about the letters “qu”.
Q is never seen in an English word without a ‘u’
“U” is not acting as a vowel in these words
“qu” represents two sounds, /k/, /w/
Have your students map the sounds in the words.
k w I n k w i t
Page 16 Exercise 3 -look up a few of these words in an etymological dictionary to learn about the origins of the words. Break a few words up into their constituent morphemes and define the meaning of each morpheme and the part of speech of each word.
Infect = in fect = verb convicted = con vict ed - past tense verb or adjective
Page 23 & 24 Define the term, syllable boundaries, and discuss the different categories of consonants, single consonants, consonant digraphs and consonant blends. Identify these types of consonants in the words in Exercise 1.
Make a step card for dividing the words into syllables.
Mark the vowels with the letter V
Mark the consonants between the vowels with the letter(s) C –
single consonants = 1 C consonant digraphs = 1 C consonant blends = 2 C’s
Do not break consonant digraphs or blends into separate syllables
When your eye sees this pattern, VCCV, divide the syllables between the 2 C’s.
Page 25 Talk about the fact that the second syllable is unaccented in many two syllable words and therefore the vowel collapses into the schwa sound. Ask your students what is the most common spelling of /un/ in this exercise.
Page 26 Twin consonants – when your eye sees the VCCV pattern in a word, and the consonants are the same letters – break the syllables apart between these two consonants. Ask your students if they pronounce both of these twin consonants. They do not, the double consonant is there to close the first syllable.
Pages 26, 28, and 29 provide valuable vocabulary practice.
Page 30 – ask your students to find the misspelled words and then to explain why the spelling is incorrect and what the correct spelling should be.
Page 32 – Have your student read the short passage for accuracy, with correct intonation and pauses for the different marks of punctuation.
Obviously, doing this lesson will span several days!!!