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Decoding: Stretch Out the Word

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Decoding: Stretch Out the Word
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.A

Basics on the topic Decoding: Stretch Out the Word

Decoding – Stretch Out the Word

While hiking with your family, you find an injured baby bird who can't fly. You decide to bring it to the doctor’s office and start reading some magazines in the waiting room. But, you are having trouble reading some of the words. With this text, you can learn about the reading strategy of stretching through the word.

Reading Strategies – Stretching Words

Sometimes during reading, children come to words they do not know, which is okay! There are lots of ways to help them figure it out like using a reading strategy or decoding. There are a lot of ways to decode words children do not know. One of those ways is to use letter sounds to help read difficult words. Stretching out the letters in the word by slowing down and pulling their sounds apart, may help a child figure out how to say the unknown.

When you stretch out a word, you are pulling apart, or sounding out, the letter sounds in the word to help hear what it might be. Sometimes using smaller pieces makes it easier to read a larger word.

Stretching Out Words – Example

Let’s try it with an example by stretching words in sentences. Look at the picture below.

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First, slow down and sound out each letter you see in the word: /j/ /u/ /m/ /p/. Then, try to say the sounds again a little faster: /j/ /u/ /m/ /p/.

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Now, blend the sounds to say the word: jump!

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Finally, reread the whole sentence to see if it makes sense. The cat can jump. It does makes sense!

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Summary of Steps – Stretching Words to Read

Stretching out words is a so called decoding strategy that helps you pronounce and learn unfamiliar words. Follow these steps to decode unknown words:

Step # What to do
1 Slow down and say the letter sounds you see.
2 Try to put the sounds together a little faster.
3 Blend the sounds to say the word.
4 Reread the whole sentence to see if it makes sense.
  • First, slow down and say the letter sounds you see.

  • Then, try to put the sounds together a little faster.

  • Next, blend the sounds to say the word.

  • Finally, reread the whole sentence to see if it makes sense.

Have you practiced yet? On this website, you will find worksheets, interactive exercises and further material on stretching out words as decoding strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Decoding

What Does it Mean to Stretch Out a Word?
How Do You Stretch the Sound of a Word?
What Does it Mean to Tell a Child to Stretch Out the Letters in a Word?

Transcript Decoding: Stretch Out the Word

While on their hike, Dee and Kala found a baby bird who couldn't fly! So, they decided to bring her to the doctor to make sure she's ok. But, while in the waiting room reading magazines, they come across some words they don't know! Let's help Dee and Kala by learning about, "Decoding: Stretch Out the Word." Sometimes during reading, we come to words we do not know. This is okay! There are lots of ways to figure it out. When we use a strategy, or plan, to read out a word, it's called decoding. There are a lot of ways to decode, or figure out, words we don't know, but in this video we're going to use letter sounds to help read difficult words. When we slow down and pull letter sounds apart, we can figure out how to say the word we don't know. Let's try it! The cat can hmmm, what's the last word? When you come to a difficult word, first, slow down and sound out each letter you see. /j/ /u/ /m/ /p/. Then, try to say the sounds again a little faster /j/ /u/ /m/ /p/. Now, blend the sounds to say the word: jump! Finally, reread the whole sentence to see if it makes sense. The cat can jump. It does makes sense! Let's try it again with the word Dee is stuck on. The sat on the pad, hmmm, what's that word? Slow down and sound out each letter you see. /f/ /r/ /o/ /g/ Then, say the sounds a little faster: /f/ /r/ /o/ /g/ Now, blend the sounds to say the word: frog! Finally, reread the whole sentence to see if it makes sense: The frog sat on the pad. It works! Can you help Kala now? The is in the den. Hmm, Kala doesn't know THIS word. Sound out each letter you see /s/ /k/ /u/ /n/ /k/. Try it a little faster: /s/ /k/ /u/ /n/ /k/. And, say the word: skunk! The skunk is in the den, it makes sense! While Dee and Kala wait to hear if the baby bird is ok, let's remember. Today we learned how to stretch out letter sounds in words we don't know! When we slow down and pull letter sounds apart, we can figure out how to say the difficult word. First, slow down and say the letter sounds you see. Then, try to put the sounds together a little faster. Next, blend the sounds to say the word. Finally, reread the whole sentence to see if it makes sense. [walking out of the doctor's office] "Well, wouldn't ya know! She'll never be able to fly!" "But not because she's hurt...because she's a baby penguin!"

Decoding: Stretch Out the Word exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Decoding: Stretch Out the Word .
  • Match the word you hear, to the word you read.

    Hints
    • Slow down
    • Sound out each letter

    Look at the word "plant". To stretch this word out:

    • Slow down
    • Sound out each letter
    • Try to say the sounds a little faster
    • Blend the sound to say the word
    • Reread the sentence to see if it makes sense

    Solution

    You can stretch out a word to help you when reading a word you do not know.

  • Which sentences do you hear the words being stretched out in?

    Hints

    You can stretch out a word if you get stuck when reading. Stretch out skunk.

    Stretch out jump.

    Here you can hear the word jump being stretched out.

    Solution
    • The cat can jump.
    • The skunk is in the den.
  • Match the word you hear to the correct text.

    Hints

    Can you stretch out this word?

    What sounds do you hear?

    Blend the sounds to say the word.

    Solution
    • s l e e p --> sleep
    • c o w --> cow
    • s w i m --> swim
    • p l a y --> play
  • Assign each sentence to the matching audio.

    Hints

    Can you sound out the word in orange?

    What word do you hear?

    Solution

    Stretching out a word can help you figure out words you don't know when reading.

    • The cat can j u m p --> The cat can jump.
    • The dog can r u n --> The dog can run.
    • The dog can s i t --> The dog can sit.
    • The cat can s l e e p --> The cat can sleep.

  • Decode the word by stretching it out.

    Hints
    Solution

    The correct choice is pat.

  • Match the sentence you read, to the sentence you hear.

    Hints

    What word do you hear when you stretch out the word?

    • Use the picture to help you decode the word.
    • What is this a picture of? A monkey.

    What word do you hear when you stretch out the word?

    Solution

    The monkey went to sleep.