Lesson 1: Introducing syllables

Links to the Victorian Curriculum – English

Speaking and Listening, Language: Phonics and word knowledge


Links to the Victorian Curriculum – English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Pathway A

Speaking and listening

Level A1:

  • Imitate pronunciation, stress and intonation patterns (VCEALL027)

Level A2:

  • Repeat or modify a sentence or phrase, modelling rhythm, intonation and pronunciation on the speech of others (VCEALL109)

Pathway B

Speaking and listening

Level BL:

  • Use comprehensible pronunciation for familiar words (VCEALL182)

Level B1:

  • Use comprehensible pronunciation for a range of high-frequency words learnt in class (VCEALL262)

Resources required

  • Clave sticks or untuned musical instruments
  • A4 posters with 1, 2, 3 and 4 printed separately

Learning intention

I am learning that words are made up of syllables.

Success criteria

  • I can clap the beats (syllables) in my name.
  • I can count the number of beats (syllables) in my name.

Lesson sequence

  1. Introduce what a syllable is (beats in a word). All syllables must contain a vowel or vowel-like sound in them. We break words into syllables to help us with our reading and writing.
  2. Model clapping the syllables in teacher names (eg. Lin.da-2 syllables, Mo.ham.med-3 syllables, Lil. i.an.na-4 syllables).
  3. Ask students to turn and talk to a partner to say their name and clap the number of beats (syllables) in it. Rove pairs to check.
  4. Place a number 1, 2, 3 and 4 around the room. Students who have one syllable stand under the 1, 2 syllables stand near the 2 and so on.
  5. Using clave sticks, ask students in each group to say their name and clap using clave sticks. Which name has the most syllables? Which has the least? 
  6. Students turn and talk in their numbered groups. Can they think of different names that have the same number of syllables as their names? Can they think of other names that have more/less syllables than their names syllables? Test using the clave sticks. Each group share.
  7. Return to the main group. Revisit the success criteria and check student understanding.