We teach decoding and encoding skills through instruction of the six syllable types. Knowledge of syllable types helps students anticipate what sound vowels will make in different words or word parts. Thus, they can approach that word confidently for reading or spelling.
We teach the six different syllable types in a systematic and cumulative manner meaning that we begin with the easiest concepts and progress to more complex concepts. We teach specific phonogram rules within each syllable type.
An integral part to this instruction is teaching students how to correctly divide unknown words into syllables to break the word down into decodable chunks. We refer to this as animal division.
We know that students with dyslexia benefit from having anchors to their learned information. Assigning animal names to the different syllable division rules helps students remember and differentiate between the rules, but the animal names themselves also refer to the specific strategy that is used to break the syllables.
We teach the following animal rules: Rabbit, Reptile, Tiger, Camel, and Hornet.
This is helpful when students approach an unfamiliar word or a nonsense word. For even the most experienced reader, unfamiliar words can become a reading pitfall – unless you know how to syllabicate the word into decodable chunks.
Rabbit Division: rab / bit
When you have one or more consonants stuck between two vowels, divide between the consonants so that each vowel has its own consonant.
Examples: sunset, cobweb, index
Reptile Division: rep / tile
Always divide syllables a way that will keep your VCE syllables together as one unit. We hear one talking vowel and therefore you must keep that syllable together.
Examples: devise, expose, sunrise
Tiger Division: ti / ger
Whenever you have two vowels with only one consonant stuck between them you need to try tiger syllable division. Your first choice is to divide after the first vowel to make the vowel open so that it makes its long sound.
Examples: spider, even, super
Camel Division: cam / el
Whenever you have two vowels with only one consonant stuck between them you need to try two syllable division strategies. Your first choice is Tiger Division, your second choice is Camel or keep the first vowel closed by the consonant so that it makes its short sound.
Examples: finish, robin, model
Hornet Division: hor / net
Whenever you have two or more consonants stuck between two vowels you want to divide between the consonants so that each vowel has its own consonant. But remember that the r-controlled vowel makes a different sound, or no sound at all.
Examples: order, garlic, harvest
CLICK HERE to see our animal division posters – an excellent tool and visual anchor for your classroom!