Decoding Multisyllable Words


Our Decoding Multisyllable Words lesson plan teaches students additional strategies for reading and decoding multi-syllabic words. Students also learn to match syllables with their syllable type and learn about different syllable types.

Included with this lesson are some adjustments or additions that you can make if you’d like, found in the “Options for Lesson” section of the Classroom Procedure page. One of the optional additions to this lesson is to hand out vowels, consonants, consonant “chunks” and other parts of words for students to create multisyllable words from.

Buy Now For $1.95


What our Decoding Multisyllable Words lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Decoding Multisyllable Words lesson plan offers students further practice with reading and decoding multi-syllabic words. Various types of syllables are defined, such as open syllable and vowel-silent-e, and six steps are provided for sounding out long words. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to decode multisyllabic words. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade and 4th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the orange box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. The only supplies you will need for this lesson are scissors and the handouts. To prepare for this lesson ahead of time, you can pair students for the activity, gather the scissors, and copy the handouts.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. An optional addition to the activity is to have students glue the syllables that make up their new words onto construction paper, showing the divisions. You can also use additional words or current reading content for the activity. For an additional activity, you can hand out vowels, consonants, consonant “chunks” and other parts of words for students to create multisyllable words from. Finally, students can also create a poem or song to help remember how to divide multisyllable words.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.



The Decoding Multisyllable Words lesson plan includes two pages of content. The lesson begins by reminding students that syllables make up words. Syllables are one vowel sound that forms a part of a word. For example, the word nap is one syllable, as there is only one vowel sound. However, napkin has two syllables, and two vowel sounds: nap and kin. Understanding syllables can help you read multisyllable words, which are words with two or more syllables. They have two, three, or more. Recognizing the syllables in words will help you pronounce and define them.

There are multiple different kinds of syllables. One kind is an open syllable. This ends with a single vowel, like in the words veto and me, and usually has a long vowel sound. The next kind is a closed syllable. This is when a consonant follows a single vowel. The vowel sound is usually short, like in the words napkin and cat. The next kind is r-controlled, which is when the letter r follows a vowel or vowels. The vowel sound isn’t long or short, like in the words target and whisper.

Another kind of syllable is a vowel team, which is when two letters make one vowel sound. The sound can be long, short, or a diphthong, like the words plain and heavy. The next kind is vowel-silent e. These are syllables with the pattern long vowel/consonant/silent e, like behave and shape. Finally, the last kind of syllable discussed in this lesson is the consonant-le. This is when the final syllable contains a consonant plus -le, like in the words apple and table.

Multisyllable Words

One syllable words might show up in multisyllable words, like nap in the word napkin. The individual parts of words, like the examples earlier in the lesson, are also part of multisyllable words. Students already know how to divide words up into syllables. Dividing them up can help them pronounce new words, because you can read each part individually before putting them together. It becomes easier to find and understand irregular parts of words over time.

The lesson lists six steps for decoding multisyllable words. The first step is to recognize the “chunks” (or phonic patterns) you have learned in single-syllable words. The second step is to identify the vowels and consonants. This will help you identify different vowel sounds. The third step is to recognize the different syllable types and their pronunciations. The fourth step is to identify the division of syllable and patterns. Next, the fifth step is to recognize common prefixes, suffixes, and base words. Finally, the sixth step is to break words into their syllables, pronounce them, and then use the context of the word to help you say and define it.

If you practice, you’ll be able to divide, pronounce, and define multisyllable words while reading stories, textbooks, or something online. While reading, you will inevitably come across multisyllable words that you don’t know how to pronounce. If you use the steps from this lesson, you’ll be able to pronounce the new words in no time.

The lesson closes with a table of multisyllable words broken into their syllables. It asks students to practice pronouncing them and to try to define them. It also reminds students that they can always use a dictionary to find out what a word means.


The Decoding Multisyllable Words lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


Students will work with a partner to complete the activity. Each pair will cut out each of the words listed on the worksheet into syllable and then connect the syllables to make new words. They can use a dictionary for help if they need it.

Students may work either alone or in groups for this activity.


The practice worksheet asks students to complete three short exercises. For the first, they will match the underlined syllable in each word with the syllable type. For the second, they will list the steps for decoding multisyllable words in the correct order. Finally, for the third, they will correctly divide each of the given words into syllables, using / to divide.


For the homework assignment, students will read part of a story and divide all of the multisyllable words correctly, using a / to divide the syllables. They will also list three or more multisyllable words from a book, advertisement, or sign, correctly dividing the words into syllables. They must include where they found the word.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the activity worksheet, the practice worksheet, and the homework assignment. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


3rd Grade, 4th Grade


Language Arts, Video

State Educational Standards


Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

Customer Reviews
5.0 Based on 6 Reviews
5 ★
4 ★
3 ★
2 ★
1 ★
Write a Review

Thank you for submitting a review!

Your input is very much appreciated. Share it with your friends so they can enjoy it too!

Filter Reviews:
United States United States

Multi-syllabic words!

This was a great resource for my Special Ed. class. It's easy for collecting data and providing instruction. Thank you!

United States United States

School work

I had a paper due for my masters program and it worked out perfectly. Thank you.

Autumn B.

Excellent content for older students (4th and up)

I've used this lesson with 4-6th graders with great success. It was a little too advanced for my 3rd graders (I work with students with learning disabilities). The explanations are clear and the activities are well-thought out and support the objectives.

Jamie R.

The experience was great and your website was simple to use.

Autumn B.

Decoding multisyllable words

This was an excellent resource for remediation, with clear instructions and interesting activities. It was very helpful!