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An Example Lesson Plan for Teaching Glued Sounds

Have you heard of glued sounds? Sometimes they're also called "welded sounds."

Glued sounds, or welded sounds, are groups of letters where the individual sound of each letter cannot be clearly heard. 

“NG” and “NK” are two examples of glued sounds. In our phonics program From Sounds to Spellingwe teach these glued sound chunks in first grade: ang, ing, ong, ung, ank, ink, onk, and unk

In the example lesson plan below, students learn about glued sounds with -NK. Earlier in the week, they learned about glued sounds with -NG.

The lesson plan includes 7 components: a phonological awareness warm-up, review, concept introduction of glued sounds with -nk, multi-sensory writing practice, blending practice, word building, and introducing a word sort.

Phonological Awareness

  • “I’m going to say a word. You repeat it, and then we’ll switch out the first sound to make a whole new word. The word is ‘tank.’ Repeat.” (tank) “Tank, change /t/ to /th/ and we get..” (students should say “thank”). Repeat this process with the following: fang - change /f/ to /b/ = bang; pink - change /p/ to /w/ = wink; hung - change /h/ to /s/ = sung; zing - change /z/ to /k/ = king
  • “Now let’s do something different. This time, we’re going to add a sound after the first sound. For example, let’s say I have the word ‘cub.’ Say ‘cub.’” (cub) “Cub, add /l/ after /k/, and I get ‘club.’ Do you hear how we added /l/ after the first sound to make ‘club’? Okay, now you try. The word is ‘sung.’ Repeat.” (sung) “Sung, add /w/ after /s/ and we get…” (swung) Repeat with the following: sip - add /l/ after /s/ = slip; gab - add /r/ after /g/ = grab; sell - add /p/ after /s/ = spell


  • Use your flashcards to review high frequency words (students should tap out this week’s new words) and letter sounds.

Concept Introduction

  • “Do you remember our story about the tale of the glued letters? How did those letters all get stuck together?” Have students retell the story.
  • “Today we’re going to practice some more glued sounds - this time, the glued sounds will end with NK.” Go over each phonics poster for ink, ank, onk, unk. Each time, have students say the sound and the key word aloud.

Multi-Sensory Writing

  • Have students take out their multi-sensory writing material. “I’m going to say a glued sound, and you repeat it. The sound is /ank/. Repeat.” (/ank/) “What says /ank/?” Students should write “ank” in their sensory material and say aloud, “A-N-K says /ank/.”
  • Repeat this procedure to practice the sounds: ink, unk, onk
  • Review the short vowels. Say “What says /ŭ/?” And students respond, “u says /ŭ/“ while writing the lowercase form of the letter. Repeat for the other short vowels.

Blending Practice

  • Set up your sound cards for the blending drill. First stack: s, r, b, h, dr. Second stack: ink, ank, onk, unk. (The order of sound cards within each stack does not matter, but set it up so that the first word says “sink”.)
  • “Let’s practice blending words with tour glued sounds. Remember, each chunk of letters, like ing, we say as one sound. Look at the first word. Let’s say the sounds together: /s/ /ink/. Sink. Now you do it.” (The students say, “/s/ /ink/.”) “Good job! Is ‘sink’ a real word?” (Yes) “Yes, thumbs up for a real word. Now let’s read another word.” 
  • Turn over one card in either stack to make a new word. See if students can blend and read on their own, without doing it first as a group. Have students show a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to indicate if it is a real word.
  • Repeat several times, having students read real and/or nonsense words with each of the glued sounds with -NK.

Word Building

  • Pass out the magnetic letters / tiles.
  • “Let’s build some words with glued sounds. First, let’s make the word ‘pink.’ Repeat.” (pink) “I like the color pink. Let’s pound the syllables. Pink. 1 syllable. Now let’s segment it together: /p/ /ink/. Now build it.” Have students build the word with their magnetic letters. If students are really struggling, you can go sound-by-sound, supporting them with finding the correct letter(s) for each sound. After students finish, say, “Now let’s touch each letter and say the sound to make sure we made the word correctly. Ready? /p/ /ink/, pink. What word did we make?” (pink) “What letters did we touch when we said /ink/?” (I-N-K) “Now let’s change this word by just one letter. I want you to change it into the word ‘sink.’ We wash our hands at the sink. Change ‘pink’ to ‘sink.’” Have students change the word. Then, discuss how they did it (by changing the p to an s). 
  • Repeat this process, having students change one letter at a time (or 2 letters) to make these words: sank, bank, blank, blink, link, wink, think, thank, prank (review the vocabulary poster for “prank”)

Introduce Word Sort

  • Introduce the word sort to students. Read all of the words with students and make sure students understand what they mean.
  • Students can complete the sort as independent work, later on.

Follow-Up Lessons

In the program, students continue practicing glued sounds for the rest of the week.

On Friday, teachers assess to determine if their students have achieved at least 80% mastery with the glued sounds. If they have not, there are plenty of materials within the program so that glued sounds can be reviewed and practiced further.

For more (free) example lesson plans from our phonics program From Sounds to Spelling, sign up for the free trial here.


Examples of Phonemic Awareness Activities

In What Order Do You Teach Vowels?

Free Phonics Sound Charts for Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade