Three Common Clusters in Initial Position

Students’ Learning Outcomes

·         Pronounce with reasonable accuracy common three consonant clusters in initial positions.

Information for Teachers

·         Five vowels of English Language are a, e, I, o, and u.
·         All the letters of English Language besides vowels are called consonants.
·         When two or three consonants are combined they make consonant cluster. Cluster means group, bunch or collection.


·         If two consonants without a vowel in between come together they form a consonant cluster. For example spot, stop where ’sp’ and ‘st’ are consonant clusters without having a vowel coming between them, while letter ’t’ and ‘p’ are consonants and ‘o’ is a vowel.

·         The sounds made by clusters remain separate for each letter, unlike digraph and trigraphs which make one sound.

·         It is important to distinguish clusters and digraphs.
·         Clusters are made of two or more consonant sounds, while a digraph is a group of two consonant letters standing for a single sound. For example, in the word ship, the two letters of the digraph (sh) together represent the single consonant.

Material / Resources

Chalk, board, straw, string, strip, picture of a street, strawberry, flashcards of the same made by the teacher

Worm up activity

·         Divide the students into groups of five.
·         Ask them to write three letter words.
(Consonant- vowel-consonant e.g. bag, set). Give them two minutes for this activity.
·         Take at least five words from the students and write them on the board.
·         Play the game.
Step 1: Play with volume, ‘How loud can you say it?’ Ask the students to read out the words written on the board in a low volume, increasing the volume as the words increase. (Be careful of the classes next door. Sound should not be so loud to disturb others)
Step 2: Experiment with speed. ‘How fast can you say it?’ The students say words fast building up speed like a train as the words increase.


Activity 1

·         Hold a piece of string in your hand and ask the students: what is it?

(Possible response: a thread-a string)

·         Show a straw and get students to say which word It is, writing their responses on the board.
·         Read one of the words twice. ‘What is similar in it? (three consonant letters ‘str’,)
·         Divide the class in small groups of three to four members.
·         Ask the groups to discuss for three minutes and write 3 or 4 words starting with ‘str’.
·         Give them hints for example, a small red colored fruit (strawberry) something that is very different or unusual (strange), the part of a shoe that has a buckle on it (strap).
·         Let group share ideas with other groups one by one.
·         Write all the responses on the board.
·         Ask the students to practice the sounds by chanting/ reading aloud using the list of words written on the board.

·         Tell the students that the sounds together make a consonant cluster. (see ‘information for teachers’)

Activity 2

·         Show a strip of page, an elastic strap (string), strawberry and street picture cards to the students. Ask the students to identify the object shown to them.
·         Write the answers on the board.
·         Point to the words one by one and ask the students (one by one) to read them aloud.
·         Ask the students to copy the words in their notebooks.
·         The students, who finish the written work, must practice reading the words again.

Sum up / Conclusion

·         Ask a few students (one by one) to come forward and read out the words aloud, loudly and clearly.
·         Ask the students:
Ø  What are consonant clusters? Give a few examples.
Ø  Give an example of a consonant cluster in initial position.
Ø  Give an example of a consonant cluster and consonant letter.
·         Find the exercise related to the topic in the textbook. The students must do this exercise in the notebook or textbook.


·         Assess the students through their responses in the class during the lesson by checking their pronunciation.
·         Sample assessment questions:
Ø  Define consonant clusters and also give three examples.
Ø  Differentiate between a consonant cluster and consonant letter by giving five examples each.
Ø  Read the following words and write the consonant cluster. Also mention if the consonant cluster is in the initial or final position of the word.
1.       Strawberry
2.       Hand
3.       Street
4.       Gift
5.       Lift
6.       Flat
7.       Group
8.       Band
9.       Bends
10.   Ponds

·         Answer key:

Ø  Strawberry: ‘str’ consonant cluster in the initial position.
Ø  Hand: ‘nd’ consonant cluster in the final position.
Ø  Street: ‘str’ consonant cluster in the initial position.
Ø  Gift: ‘ft’ consonant cluster in the final position.
Ø  Lift: ‘ft’ consonant cluster in the final position.
Ø  Flat: ‘ft’ consonant cluster in the initial position.
Ø  Group: ‘gr’ consonant cluster in the initial position.
Ø  Band: ‘nd’ consonant cluster in the final position.
Ø  Bends: ‘nds’ consonant cluster in the final position.
Ø  Ponds: ‘nds’ consonant cluster in the final position.

Follow up

·         Ask the students to look into a dictionary and find four new words starting with ‘str’ consonant cluster.
·         The words listed have been selected because of their suitability for the children between 4 to 8 years age.
(straight, strain, strainer, strand, strange, stranger, strap, strategy, straw, strawberry, stray, streak, stream, street, strength, stress, stretch, stretcher, strict, stride, strike, striker, string, strip, stripe, strive, strode, stroke, stroll, strong, struck, struggle.)
·         Ask the students to use some of the above given words in sentences of their own.


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