Sort Out Your Syllables teaches a simple strategy for decoding, pronouncing, and spelling multisyllabic words using knowledge of phonemes and the alphabetic code.

The strategies taught make it easier for students to read and write multisyllabic words, which in turn promotes tremendous growth in reading and writing.

Sort Out Your Syllables starts with two short assessments that identify the gaps in skills for reading and spelling unfamiliar multisyllabic words, followed by a series of fast, effective, 10-minute lessons that close the gaps.



This book teaches simple strategies that get around the complex and often confusing syllabification rules that many students simply cannot use. It provides teachers with an opportunity to make a real difference to students who say, I can’t read (or write) that word — it’s too long!

- Professor John Hattie


Teacher's Resource Book

The cornerstone of Sort Out Your Syllables is the Teacher’s Resource Book. It includes 50 carefully sequenced 10-minute lessons that teach students to:

  • Hear and recognise syllables
  • Recognise vowel spelling patterns
  • Pronounce vowel spelling patterns in different ways
  • Apply a four-step strategy for dividing and decoding unfamiliar multisyllabic words

In addition, this comprehensive teacher’s resource includes:

  • Simple assessments to identify gaps in syllable and code knowledge
  • Flexibility for teaching in whole-class or small-group settings
  • Teacher notes that explain aspects of the lesson further
  • Reference boxes with key strategies and summaries for instruction and review (also available digitally)
  • Suggestions for English learners and students who need extra support
  • Appendices with instructional strategies to address gaps in phonological awareness and short and long vowel discrimination
  • A glossary of terms, answers for student activities, and vowel spelling patterns chart

Free downloads available with purchase.


Vowel Spelling Pattern Cards and Labels

Nine Label cards illustrate the nine types of vowel spelling patterns, and 60 Spelling Pattern cards provide examples of different ways these types of patterns are written in words.

Five sets of sorting cards and labels are included with the programme. Students work together in small groups to sort these cards, to create a system for understanding and recognising the vowel patterns that occur in syllables.


Student Practice Activities

These activities provide students with practice:

  • Identifying the nine different types of vowel spelling patterns and creating lists of words that contain them
  • Understanding, pronouncing and recognising different syllable patterns and creating lists of words that contain them, including:
    • Single vowel letters in open and closed syllables
    • Vowel digraphs, trigraphs and quadgraphs (vowel_e, vowel teams and r-controlled vowels)
    • The final stable syllable ending le
    • The schwa vowel sound and spelling patterns
  • Dividing multisyllabic words into syllables using the four-step strategy

For flexibility and to support digital learning, the student practice activites are available as a printed book and as PDF downloads with purchase.


English Vowel Spelling Patterns

The poster-size Wall Chart illustrates the nine types of vowel spelling patterns and 60 examples of patterns that represent them. It provides students with a comprehensive reference point for recalling these patterns along with examples of words that contain them.

Students can also refer to the vowel spelling patterns using their own copies of the Desktop Card.


Digital References

Reference Boxes found throughout Sort Out Your Syllables provide key strategies and summaries of what students have learned. These references are available digitally for whole-class teaching and as an additional support for students.

All assessments and practice activities are also available as digital downloads, free with purchase of Sort Out Your Syllables.