Word Families: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Joelle Mumley
Word families can help you improve your reading and writing skills while having fun. In this lesson, we'll look at some fun word families and see how you can use them to make rhymes.

Word Families Background

In 1960, Dr. Seuss made a bet that he could write a book using only the same 50 words throughout the book. That book was Green Eggs and Ham, in which Dr. Seuss used phrases like, ''I will not eat them in a house, I will not eat them with a mouse,'' and ''I will not eat them in a box, I will not eat them with a fox.'' Dr. Seuss was able to win the bet and only used and re-used 50 words throughout the entire book! He was able to accomplish this task through the use of word families.

What Are Word Families?

Have you seen the queen who uses sunscreen on Halloween? This silly sentence uses the -een word family.

Word families are groups of words that have similar spelling and sound patterns. They often rhyme and have the same combination of letters, like house and mouse or fox and box. We call them families, since they go together in a group.

Word families can be found in many of Dr. Seuss's books or in poems, since they are a great way to find rhyming words. You can also use word families when you are spelling or reading. If you know how to spell or read one word, like cat, you can spell or read other words, like splat, by thinking of the word family ending.

Examples of Common Word Families

Let's look at some examples of common word families and some of the words you probably recognize:

  • -ack: sack, back, track, black
  • -all: ball, stall, call, wall, mall
  • -eat: meat, wheat, beat, seat
  • -ump: jump, lump, clump, pump, stump
  • -ice: mice, ice, price, lice, dice
  • -ock: clock, lock, block, sock
  • -ip: ship, dip, lip, flip, clip

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