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R Blends Words and Worksheets (5 Free Printables)

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Read all about r-blend words, words that include br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, & tr at the beginning of the word. Then get five free printable worksheets to use with your students to help practice the more challenging beginning consonant blends.

Purple & blue graphic with pictures of the five R-blend pdf worksheets.
Download all 5 worksheets FREE at the bottom of this post!

What Are R-Blends?

R blends are consonant blends (or consonant clusters) that include the letter R as the second letter. R blends include:

  • br
  • cr
  • dr
  • fr
  • gr
  • pr
  • tr

👌 R-Blend examples: Words like brat, critter, drink, frog, grape, prize, and trip include beginning r-blends.

Why Teach R-Blends?

R-blend words are more tricky consonant blends because the position of the letter r in the word.

The /r/ sound is usually one of the later developing sounds in speech development, making these blends especially difficult for kids with speech delays.

In my experience, dr and tr are the most difficult r-blends for students to master. They often use invented spelling when writing words with these beginning blends.

Young learners need explicit instruction and lots of repeated practice using quality resources to master them!

Explicitly teaching r-blends will help students read many new words! We group the br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, and tr together because it uses a common feature (the letter r) to teach 7 new concepts.

As Anna Gillingham once said, “Move as quickly as you can, but as slowly as you must.”

Teaching blends in groups focused on similar features, like l-blends, s-blends, or r-blends, will help you move quickly and help students be successful.

Beginning Blend DR

The blend dr sounds a lot like the sound /jr/, like in the word drip.

Teachers need to be clear and explicitly teach that when kids hear a /jr/ at the beginning of the word, they should never write the letters jr.

This is not a consonant blend in English, and they will never see the letters jr at the beginning of a word. Instead, when kids hear /jr/ in a word, they need to write dr.

Beginning Blend TR

The blend tr sounds a lot like the digraph /ch/ + /r/ like in the word train.

Again, students need to be taught that when they hear the /ch/+ /r/ sound at the beginning of words, they should write the letters tr, not chr.

Using the Worksheets

These five worksheets are excellent resources to use when introducing and reinforcing r-blends in words. They focus on reading and spelling words with R-blends. They all provide intentional and targeted practice for learning r-blend words.

All words included on the worksheets follow a typical structured literacy scope and sequence and include only letters a-z, short vowels, and common digraphs.

💯 This means that kids can be successful decoding every single word while learning how to read and spell words with r-blends!

A printed and completed worksheet where students must write in the matching r-blend for each picture.

Write the R-Blend: Kids use the picture clues and read the rime to determine which r-blend to use to spell the correct word beside an easy-to-recognize, colorful image.

A completed r-blend worksheet with a student pointing and reading each r-blend word.

Build a Word (3 worksheets): These worksheets separate the onset (r-blend) and rime (vowel plus ending letters).

Kids will read the onset, then the rime, and then read and rewrite the full word.

A printed list of words containing R-blends.

Read the R-Blend: A clear list in chart form with 35 r-blend words sorted by r-blend. Kids will highlight and read the words to see and hear the similarities between words with the same r-blend.

You can also use the list for dictation to practice encoding! This is part of our extensive word lists resource.

Tips and More Resources

R-blends are typically taught in first grade, so the worksheets are designed for students in that age group. However, these resources can be used with older kids still struggling with beginning blends.

There are TONS of consonant blends in the English language. So if you are focused on teaching blends to your students, check out these other great resources:

Download & Print

DOWNLOAD TERMS: All of our resources and printables are designed for personal use only in homes and classrooms. Each teacher must download his or her own copy. To share with others, please use the social share links provided or distribute the link to the blog post so others can download their own copies. Please do not save our files to a shared drive, reproduce our resources on the web, or make photocopies for anyone besides your own students. Your support in this allows us to keep making free resources for everyone! Please see our Creative Credits page for information about the licensed clipart we use. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our terms, please email us. Thank you!

We’d love to hear about your experience with these worksheets!
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