Vowel-Sound-Stick: Word Attack

Reading Fluency
Vowel-Sound-Stick: Word Attack
Appropriate Grade Level: Appropriate at all Grade Levels.
Phase 1: Introduction: Remind students of the difference between the listening, the
reading, and the speaking vocabulary. Explain the technique for word attack is called
Vowel-Sound-Stick. A vertical line will be drawn between syllables, representing the
“stick.” Example: “sel/lers.” Knowledge of this will contribute greatly to reading
fluency skills.
Phase 2:Items for Review: Before executing this technique for word attack, students
must have knowledge of and give examples of the following: prefixes and suffixes, two
or three letter consonant blends, double consonants, -ed endings, and compound words.
Phase 3: Students must be actively involved throughout the unit. Write examples on the
board or on the overhead projector for students to come up and practice. This focuses
all attention on one student and one activity, while allowing time for writing.
Comments and/or tips:
Vowel-Sound-Stick gives the remedial reader a simple, easy to remember method of
attacking otherwise difficult words while reading text. This can be very beneficial in
the later grades when nonfiction text becomes unfamiliar and more complex. This is
where we can lose students. Tell students that this technique will allow them to read
almost any word they come across- without a dictionary.
Sellers, Gayla (1988). Vowel-sound-stick: Word attack for secondary remedial
students. Journal of Reading. 42-47.