Wednesday 25 April 2012

c, ck or k at the End of a Word

Garden Girl enjoys writing stories and she uses her knowledge of phonics to spell words, so when it came to the 'c' sound she was using any of the options based on what she fancied using at that time. She had no system for distinguishing which type of 'c' to use, so I suggested this rule to her. The rule is to help her choose which 'c' to use at the end of a word. As with most rules, there are exceptions but if she follows these rules, most of the time she will spell a word correctly and on the few occcassions when it doesn't work she will have to learn that word on its own.

1) Always use 'k' or 'ck' at the end of a word. There are a few words that use 'c' at the end, such as 'torc' but these are so rare you can just learn the words as you come across them.

2) Use 'ck' if a single vowel comes before it eg, back, flock, click, whack

2) Use 'k' if two vowels come before it eg. cook, cloak, oak, beak, break

3) Use 'k' if a consonant comes before it eg, bark, work, folk, bank, ask

Garden Girl is still at the stage of having to be prompted with these rules, but when she asks how to spell a word with a 'c' sound at the end or has got it wrong, I ask her to think through the rules. Is it a consonant or vowel before the sound? Is it one vowel or two? The more frequently she works it out for herself the more confident she gets with the rule and eventually she will be able to work it out herself without a prompt.

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