Some examples of word families are the "an" family, the "ack" family and the "all" family. Words in the "ack" family include the words attack, black, back, rack, snack and tack. Words in the "all" family include words such as all, ball, call, tall and small.
A teacher can also use the "an" family, starting with a key word, such as can. From this point, the teacher helps the students find words that rhyme with the key word. The teacher can give clues if needed, making statements such as "I'm thinking of a word that starts with f," or "I'm thinking of a something that starts with p, and you use it to cook eggs." The teacher has the children think of words that end with "an," and makes sure that the students know the word meanings.
If the children are successful with this task, they can expand on this word group by adding a letter at the end, for example using the "an" with a "d" at the end. This can lead to the addition of words such as and, band, hand and land. Other letters to add to the an ending are "t," "ch" and "ce."
For added learning, the class can work together to add two- and three-syllable words, such as planet, candy and fancy. Compound words are another way to expand the lesson, with words such as landscape, handcuff, cranberry and handwriting.