Home » Reading » How to Teach Diphthongs with an Engaging Interactive Notebook



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I found it at a garage sale, and I was so excited about my find. That excitement didn’t last. Though I liked how we were slowly working our way through word families, the lists were gruesome. My kindergarten boy would groan when the book came out, and I found I was having to create games to make it through those long, boring list. Those books have long since been shelved, but I do still reference them to make sure that I’m not missing anything.

Glancing through the book this week, I noticed it was time to study diphthongs. What does that mean? Simply, it is two vowels that are in the same syllable and make one sound.

Not wanting to put my child through the torture of reading a list of words, I decided a word family interactive notebook would be the perfect activity for him this time around.

How does it work?

1. Word Family Interactive Notebook

  1. First, cut out the squares with the pictures on them. Place glue on the back of the black part and glue into a word study interactive notebook.
  2. Cut out the words. Glue them on the black space above the picture.
  3. Cut out the reading passages. Have the child read the passage aloud to you, and then highlight any word that has ow, ou, oy, and oi in it. There are two levels here. You can choose to have your child read one sentence, or read the paragraph depending on their reading level.
  4. Finally, glue the reading passage under the word that it best describes.

2. Word Sort

After the students have completed all the interactive notebooks, it is time to work through the words sorts. There are two steps to this.

First, have the students cut out the pictures and glue them under the correct word family. It is important to see if they can glue pictures on before the words. This will help them to be able to spell the words correctly if they know which word family it goes with.

Secondly, have the students cut out the words and glue them under the correct picture. If they can do this correctly, this lets you know that not only can your student read the word, but that they also know the meaning of the word.

3. Fill in the Blanks Reading Page

Finally, it is time for a little reading comprehension, vocabulary, and handwriting practice.  Ideally, your student should be able to read the sentence and correctly fill in the blanks with one of the words they have worked with all week. If they are struggling, help them find context clues in the sentence.

“What words in the sentence describe the blank.”

“Beautiful and pink,” the student will hopefully respond.

“Yes, now what word in the word bank might be beautiful and pink?”

“A gown.”

“Yes, now lets reread the sentence and put in the word gown in it  to make sure that it makes sense.”

Reading should be fun, and full of meaning….not just lists of words. As you work through these diphthongs, enjoy the hands-on, coloring, cutting, pasting and of course reading that your students will be engaged in.

You’ve Got This

Other Diphthong Activities….



Or Get ALL my Diphthong Activites in one Bundle at  My Store. It includes

  1. Interactive Notebook
  2. Word Sorts
  3. Fill in the blanks
  4. All games
  5. Crossword puzzles
  6. Word Searches

Other phonics resources:

Phonics Vowel Teams by This Reading Mama

Long Vowel Word Families by The Measured Mom

Vowel Teams Free Printable






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