How to Teach the Suffix -ed

The suffix <-ed> spells three sounds: /Id, t, d/. In this lesson, you’ll find a learning video and sample word list.

When I teach the suffix <-ed>, I teach one sound at a time. If we are studying the suffix <-ed> that sounds like /Id/ after a “t” or a “d”, we start with reading a few words with that ending sound. I introduce the sound with the video, model how to read, and then allow the student to practice.

After the student reads a few words, we create a chart with three columns for the dictation practice. Your students can quickly jot the chart down in their student journals.

After the introduction of the video, the individual practice in decoding, and the dications exercises is the decodable story that is shared below. You will find that it primarily contains words with short-vowel sounds because up to this point, that is what the student has learned. We take our time building solid skills before moving on to new and more complex patterns.

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One of the issues I was having when kids were faced with a word such as “hopping” and “hoping” was that they were unsure of what vowel sound applied. So now, I teach the suffix <-ed> and spelling rule sooner. The spelling rule with short-vowel sounds is complex. The consonant is doubled in words where you have one vowel and one consonant letter in the final position. We learn this rule now because once we get to words that end in Silent <e> we have to learn a new spelling rule. That’s where we drop the final <e> before adding a new suffix if the suffix begins with a vowel. Sorting the rules in this way has reduced information overload and greatly improved reading and spelling for my students.

Suffix <-ed> Video

All words in the video contain one short vowel sound and the <-ed> suffix. Mute the audio if you would rather be the one to model the reading.

Dictation/Spelling Exercise

Explained in the video: If the last two letters of the base are 1 vowel and 1 consonant, double the last consonant. This protects the short-vowel sound in the base word. If there are already two consonants that follow the vowel, you do not need to double. Do not double w, x, or y.

For longer words, the general routine I follow is:
Say the word, “stopped.”
What is the base? The student says, “stop.”
Spell the base. The student spells the base.
Add the suffix. The student adds the suffix to the base.
How do you spell “stopped?” The student spells the word out loud.

Some students do not need each step while others appreciate the step-by-step spelling cues.

Word List: Words that end in suffix <-ed>