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Home > Reading and Spelling Lessons & Word Lists> Word Lists Index >Word List Samples > Chart of initial consonant blends


Initial Consonant Blends

Two consonants at the beginning of a word or syllable make up a "blend." The two sounds flow together smoothly. Students can discover which consonants make good blends; this is a good way to help the students become aware of what they are doing with their mouths when they make these sounds. "bb," "bc," and "bd" just don't blend smoothly; the chart below shows which letters blend.

It's not perfect. Dw and tw are blends used in the English language, but w is utterly blendable with most other consonants (ask any speech therapist!). Just ignore this little detail unless the student brings it up.

Also, it is important that students don't get into the habit of saying "sluh" for the blend, since this can lead to sounding out words with that extra vowel as well (sluh-eep). As soon as possible, practicing the blends as part of syllables will help keep this from happening.

b c d f g h j k l m n p q r s t v w x y z
b bl br
c cl cr
d dr dw
f fl fr
g gl gr
p pl pr
s sc sk sl sm sn sp squ st sw
t tr tw

sc scl scr
sp spl spr
st str
ch* chl chr
ph phl phr sph
sh shr
th thr

*when ch is in a blend, it has the /k/ sound. You may want to wait and teach this when the student encounters words where ch sounds like /k/ (as in school and Christmas and chlorine).


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