Silent Letters Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson will help your students understand the spelling rules when writing words with silent letters. Students will read a text lesson, participate in word-building activities, and prove their knowledge with a short quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • spell words using auxiliary and dummy silent letters
  • explain silent letter rules
  • produce examples of words that use silent letters


45-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Distinguish long and short vowels when reading regularly spelled one-syllable words.


Know spelling-sound correspondences for additional common vowel teams.


Decode words with common prefixes and suffixes.


  • Chart paper
  • 12-column chart prepared with silent letters as headers


  • auxiliary silent letters
  • dummy silent letters
  • inert letters


  • Activate prior knowledge by writing the words 'cake,' 'waiter,' and 'sea' on the board. Have students turn and talk with a partner to see if they can figure out what these three words have in common. Give partners the opportunity to share their thoughts with the class. Lead the students through questioning to realize that each of these words contains silent letters.
  • Read the text lesson Silent Letters: Definition, Rules & Example Words as a class.
  • Pause at the end of the 'What Are Silent Letters?' section to create a class definition of silent letters.
  • Divide students into small groups. Have student groups read the 'Auxiliary Silent Letters' and the 'Dummy Silent Letters' sections of the lesson together.
  • Have groups create a T-chart on chart paper that defines and provides examples of words with auxiliary and dummy silent letters. Have student groups present their chart to the class. Discuss the difference between auxiliary and dummy silent letters.
  • Read the 'Silent Letter Rules and Examples' section of the lesson with students.

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