What is a Word Family

Word families are a group of words that have a common pattern in them. These words have the same combination of letters and present a similar sound, e.g., hat, bat, cat, etc., all of these belong to at word family. Learning word families helps children learn new words, which enhances a child's ability to read and write sentences faster with greater understanding. Knowledge of words also helps a child in learning phonic sounds, spelling and enhances vocabulary. Word families are introduced in early kindergarten, and kids continue to upgrade their vocabulary skills as they know different word families. 

Teaching word family to kids Word families are found in several PreK and Kindergarten rhymes. With the help of rhymes, children can learn letter combinations quickly. They also learn spelling and sounds. Kids repeat words easily while singing the rhymes again and again. 


There are three main categories of Word Families based on sound.

  • Same ending sound - Word families that have the same sounds at the end of each word. Example:  _at sound in words like bat, cat, mat, rat
  • Same starting sound - Word families that have sounds that are the same at the starting of each word. Example: ch_ sound in words like the chair, cheese, chalk.
  • Same middle sound - Word families that have sounds that are the same in the middle of each word. Example: -ee- sound in words like feet, sheep, wheel

Reading and practicing one-word family every week is an ideal way to teach kids. Teachers and parents can use various reading, writing, and activities to introduce words and make learning fun. Reading comprehension, unscramble words, word lists, picture cards, Unscramble sentences, word booklets, and drawing are popular methods to learn and master word family.