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# 1.2: Lesson Two

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

## Sometimes a Vowel, Sometimes a Consonant: <y>

1. Fill in the blanks. Don't forget the pointed brackets: The letters <a>\begin{align*}\underline{<\mathrm{a} >}\end{align*}, <e>, <i>\begin{align*}\underline{<\mathrm{i}>}\end{align*}, and <o> are always vowels.

2. We can use the same word in different ways. For example, the word blue sometimes means a color, and sometimes it means “sad.” We can also use the same letter in different ways. For example, three letters are sometimes used as vowels and sometimes as consonants. One of them is the letter <y>.

The letter <y> is a consonant when it spells the sound it spells in the word yes. When it spells any other sound, it is a vowel.

3. Listen to the sound the <y> is spelling or helping to spell in these words. Then sort the words into the two groups below:

gymtypebeyondyardyousomedayyearstheypuppyeverywhyyellow\begin{align*}&\text{gym} && \text{yard} && \text{years} && \text{every}\\ &\text{type} && \text{you} && \text{they} && \text{why}\\ &\text{beyond} && \text{someday} && \text{puppy} && \text{yellow}\end{align*}

Words in which the <y> is ...
a consonant a vowel
beyond gym
yard type
you someday
years they
yellow puppy
every
why

4. Fill in the blanks: The four letters that are always vowels are <a>\begin{align*}\underline{<\mathrm{a}>}\end{align*}, <e>, <i>\begin{align*}\underline{<\mathrm{i}>}\end{align*}, and <o>.

5. One letter that is sometimes a vowel and sometimes a consonant is <y>.

Watch the Middles! Fill in the blanks the way we have with beyond. As you read and write the word parts, spell them out to yourself, letter by letter.

beyond
be yond
be yond
be yond
beyond
years
year s
year s
year s
years
seventy
seven ty
seven ty
seven ty
seventy
away
a way
a way
a way
away
holiday
holi day
holi day
holi day
anyone
any one
any one
any one
anyone

Teaching Notes

1. The basic pattern underlying the vowel and consonant uses of <y> is that <y> is a consonant at the beginning of a word, a vowel at the end. In the middle of words it is a consonant only if it is the first letter of a base element and is spelling the first sound of a syllable, as in beyond; otherwise it is a vowel.

2. You will notice that the text pesters the youngsters to remember the pointed brackets that are used to indicate spelled-out letters as opposed to the square brackets that they will later learn to use to indicate spelled-out sounds. This pestering is part of the attempt to keep clear the distinction between sounds and letters.

3. This “Watch the Middles!” is the first of the reinforcers that occur at the end of many of the lessons. Reinforcers are game-like activities that are designed to reinforce some of the concepts or information that are important to the lesson. The immediate tie-in here is that all six of the words contain the letter <y>, sometimes as vowel, sometimes as consonant. But “Watch the Middles!” has more general objectives, as well: (i) It is intended as a rather passive exercise that gives the students practice with hard words in the hope that the repetition will enhance their remembering, (ii) It calls attention to the middle of words, where research indicates most spelling errors occur, (iii) It introduces the students, without calling attention to doing so, to the analysis of words into their elements, something that is very important later in this spelling program.

This Middles contains some word parts about which students may well ask. In the Teaching Notes we will refer to these parts as prefixes, bases, or suffixes. But since the discussion of prefixes, suffixes, and bases comes later in the program, for now it is probably best simply to speak of these with the students as word parts that are important because they appear in other words. The yond in beyond is the same word-part that is in yonder and is related to yon. Be- is a prefix that shows location at or near. The -ty in seventy is a suffix that means “times ten,” as in thirty, forty, sixty, etc. It is related to teen, which means “plus ten” as in fourteen, sixteen, etc. The holi in holiday is a form of the word holy. A holiday was, originally, a holy-day. In away the prefix a- is a reduced form of the Old English preposition on, so the original meaning of away was “on (one's) way.”

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