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St Paul's C of E Primary School

Heathside Grove

LEARNING to make a difference

Week 4

Silent Letters

 

Silent letters are the letters in words that are not pronounced, but make a huge difference to the meaning and sometimes the pronunciation of the whole word.

 

Most of these silent letters were pronounced for centuries then they became silent, but the spelling was already fixed with these spellings, and now they show the history of the word.

 

There are some rules to help us spell them:

The letter ‘b’ is often silent after ‘m’ – thumb, bomb and lamb
The letter ‘w’ is often silent before ‘r’ – wrist, wrap and wrestle
The letter ‘c’ is often silent after ‘s’ – scissors and muscle
The letter ‘d’ is silent in some common words – Wednesday and sandwich
The letter ‘u’ is often silent when it comes after ‘g’ and before a vowel – guard, guest and guitar
The letter ‘t’ is often silent after ‘s’ – castle, listen and Christmas
The letter ‘l’ is often silent when it follows the vowels ‘a’, ‘o’ and ‘u’ – yolk, calf and could
The letters ‘g’ and ‘k’ are usually silent before ‘n’ – gnome and knee
The letter ‘h’ is silent in lots of places
Between two vowels – vehicle
At the end of a word after a vowel – cheetah
After ‘w’ – why/what/when?

 

Task 1: Underline the silent letters in the following words:

 

Wrinkle
Debt
Rhubarb
Lamb
Knight
Guitar
Wrestle
Doubt
Rhyme
Knuckle

 

Task 2: Add in the missing silent letters in the following words:

 

bom_
So_ten
S_ience
G_ost
S_ord
_nome
Cas_le
Sa_mon
W_ale
Com_

 

Task 3: Fill in the gaps in the sentences below with a word with a silent letter:

 

1)I never tell lies because I am a very _____________ person.
 
2)The doctor gave me a cream to ________ my hand so that I wouldn’t feel the needle.
 
3)My granny taught me how to ________ so I have made a scarf.
 
4)________________ is my favourite month of the year.
 
5)It is important to take care when using a _________ because they are very sharp.

Challenge: Write a fun mnemonic to help remember how to spell words with silent letters.

 

e.g. c r u m b – clever rats understand my books

 

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