This Open & Closed Syllable House activity is the perfect seasonal resource to help reinforce the important concepts of open and closed syllables with your students. Kids have fun opening and closing the door to hear how the vowel sound and word changes!
🚪Open & Closed Syllables
Open Syllables and Closed Syllables are the first two syllable types we teach to children, and it’s so important that we do so explicitly. Why? Because they comprise about 73% of English syllables (Stanback, 1972)!
So to kick things off, let’s review important concepts:
Closed Syllable Definition: A syllable with one vowel that ends in a consonant. The vowel is short.
Open Syllable Definition: A syllable that ends in a vowel. The vowel is long.
❤️ Why We Love This Activity
We LOVE this printable activity for teaching open and closed syllables for many reasons!
- The fun activity is educational. It forces kids to flex between open and closed syllables while seeing and hearing the difference each time they open/close the door on the gingerbread house.
- It’s engaging and gets them excited about learning. They’ll love creating a gingerbread house with a door that actually opens and closes?
- This is an independent activity. Kids are capable of completing the assignment on their own with very little help from the teacher.
- Kids are held accountable for their work. The recording sheet includes a list of real words, which you can easily look over to determine if they’ve done their work.
- It’s an inclusive, seasonal activity for all students, regardless of which holiday they may celebrate.
- It’s truly multi-sensory. Kids will their eyes, ears, mouth, and hands to practice. And if you want to get their fifth sense involved, bring in some gingerbread cookies to place in the house and eat as a fun snack!
- It’s so easy to connect with some great literature like The Gingerbread Man!
🏠 How to Use This Resource
Materials needed: Each child will need the Gingerbread house and door paper (2 pieces in total), a pair of scissors, crayons/markers, and a pencil.
👉 Note to teachers: The only ‘prep’ needed is to pre-cut the slit on the gingerbread house door. It could be tricky for little fingers and you want to make sure the doors fit correctly.
Color: First, students should color in the gingerbread house, windows, and doors – attempting to light it up with fun and engaging colors!
Cut: Kids then carefully cut out the circular windows and rectangle doors. *Be sure to instruct children to ONLY cut along the dotted lines.*
Engage: Kids take turns placing the windows on the house and reading the open syllable words, listening to make sure they hear a long vowel sound. Then, they choose a door to place in the slit. They close the door and read the new word, listening for a short vowel sound.
Kids will record the ‘real words’ closed syllables they create on the recording sheet below the gingerbread house. Kids can read and re-read this word list for fluency.
We even added some blank ‘windows’ so kids can write their own open syllable word and use that to create even more words!
Extend: Place all windows and doors in a ziplock baggie and send it home over winter break for kids to practice at home!
🧑🏫 Teaching Tips
👉 If you haven’t yet explicitly taught open and closed syllables, it’s never too late to do so!
We recommend using our multi-sensory Open and Closed Door Puzzle. Kids literally open and close the classroom to engage in learning.
👉 Once your students gain a strong command of reading one-syllable open and closed syllable words, it’s time to move on.
Teaching kids to break apart multisyllabic words accurately is a powerful and effective tool. Kids LOVE the idea of reading bigger, longer words, and they can do so with success if you teach syllabication!
👉 Read all about the different syllable patterns, and grab free word lists! Our most popular include:
- Syllable Division Worksheets
- 80+ Closed Syllable Words
- All About Using Sound Walls in the Classroom
- Word Ladders
🖨️ Download & Print
We’d love to hear about your experience using these printables! Please leave a comment below or tag us on Instagram @literacylearn.
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