In SillyBulls, students listen and sort words according to the number of syllables in the word.

Try SillyBulls

with a sample word list!

Note: Although this activity is designed for the grade levels above, it can also be used as a remediation or enrichment activity at any grade level with an appropriate word list.

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Building Literacy

  • Foundational Skills
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Phonics
  • Fluency

What? When students exhibit an understanding of phonological awareness, they are ready to break words into syllables. More...Less

Breaking words into syllables will allow them to read multisyllabic words, which helps them decode and encode. Syllable lesson plans should help early and non-readers understand syllables so they will be able to read with more automaticity and spell with more accuracy.

When? The explicit teaching of syllables should start as early as kindergarten. More...Less

Once non-readers are able to understand what a sentence is, then what a word is, and then onsets and rimes, they are ready to tackle parts of a word (syllables). Once students understand these parts of a word, it will help them in all areas of literacy, including phonics and fluency. As words get more complex, older students still need syllabication skills to help them read, spell, and understand more complex spelling patterns and vocabulary.

How to teach: Syllables need to be explicitly taught to students. More...Less

Whether through strategies such as clapping it out, hand under the chin, or through recognizing patterns like double consonants, students need to apply their syllabication strategies. SillyBulls is a fun game to include in your spelling lesson plans. The game can be used during a literacy block as part of a word study center, or can be included in weekly homework.

Play to learn: SillyBulls is an interactive activity in which students drag words to the section that is reserved for the amount of syllables that word has. More...Less

The game gives students immediate feedback so they do not move on to the next word until they have placed the word correctly. If students need help, the game will pronounce the word in its segmented parts so correct learning is reinforced.

Teaching Tip: SillyBulls is great for both early readers and experienced readers because of the practice with syllables and the audio feature. It is also an engaging way for English Language Learners (ELLs) to become familiar with the language and the pronunciation of words.

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