Word Families: Proven Method for Teaching Reading

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What Are Word Families?

What are word families? They are groups of words that have a common feature or pattern. They have the same letter combinations — a similar sound — and they're a wonderful tool for those new to spelling.

Word Families List

According to the National Council of Teachers of English, there are 37 common word families. Below, we'll show you each word family, as well as example words that belong to each word family. Ready to get phonetic?

Word Families

Spelling and Reading With Word Families

Word families help students learn to read, while building their vocabulary. Being able to recognize patterns and common phonetic sounds is the foundation for strong spelling skills. Of course, not every word in the English language can be simply sounded out, but this is an ideal place to start.

Let's take the word family "all" as an example. This will allow students to learn simple spelling words, such as "ball" and "call." But, that understanding can be built upon, when you consider how many other words belong to the "all" family. From "ball", students can advance to tougher words, such as "enthrall", "install", and "squall".

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