Successive blending:
how to blend sounds together


It can definitely be frustrating when we’re reading with kids and they are just not blending those words together! Here are 2 problem scenarios when reading with kids. 

  1. We’ve gone over the sounds, they know the sounds and they still sound a bit like a robot: c-a-t

  2. They read the sounds before: c-a-t and they read the word, it’s a totally different word: “plant!”

You’re like… ummm, that’s not the sounds you just read! If you have a reader(s) that is not blending those sounds together just yet, this will help them! Today we’re talking about phonological awareness and Successive blending (the KEY to helping our early readers).

Do this BEFORE: Phonological Awareness

This is truly the first step to reading! 

  • Before reading and with ONLY our voices (don’t look at the letters). 

  • Say something like; “Cat” – What are the sounds that you hear in that word – c/a/t.

  • Repeat this with a few other words.

Step 1: sound recognition

  • Now show the reader(s) the sounds that they’re about to read. /c/ /a/ /t/ /p/ /i/ /g/. Do this one by one and really isolate that sound. 


Step 2: Tap the first 2 sounds

  • Write the first 2 sounds and tap them as they say them. 
  • /c/ /a/

Step 3: Blend those first 2 sounds

  • This is VERY important, so don’t skip this step! 

  • Blend those first 2 sounds: ca


Step 4: Successive blending

Here’s where the magic happens! 

  • Let’s say we’re working on the word “cat”, we’re going to day the sound /c/ and put it down on the table (or wherever) and hae the reader read it. 

  • Next, take the /a/ and put it right beside it: ca

  • Have the reader extend their voice and blend the first 2 sounds together → ca 

  • Then place the last letter sound beside them and have the reader say → ca → cat 


Check out the successive blending printable below:

Go from single sounds to blending words together! Click on the picture 🙂

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