Do you remember the “clapping game” from elementary school? The teacher would write a word on the chalkboard and the class would clap out the syllables in that word. It was a fun and common sense introduction to the individual sound units within a word.
As the basic unit of written and spoken language, syllables are an important concept for students to grasp since dividing syllables correctly determines whether the pronunciation is correct. Syllables are of course also very important when learning to read, as kids early on become hooked on phonics as they learn proper pronunciation when reading aloud.
There are six types of syllables, all referring to each word’s vowels: closed syllables (ex: not), open syllables (ex: no), silent syllables (ex: note), combined syllables (ex: nail), controlled syllables (ex: bird) and consonant syllables (ex: table, where the final syllable is created by a consonant+e at the end of the word).
Whether studying for a syllables quiz or looking for a list of common syllables to prepare a syllables lesson plan, there are excellent syllables resources and materials available, particularly kindergarten syllables resources as teaching syllables begins very early. Fun primary school syllable games for K-2 are an excellent way to introduce syllables to young students.
For slightly older students in grades 3-5, intermediate school syllable games are especially fun as they can be thematic — for example, a Bridge to Terabithia game testing syllables is perfect when introduced while the students are reading the book. Of course, learning about how syllables are divided in English is crucial for ESL to ensure proper pronunciation.