Teach your spellers about the FLOSS rule with this free game!
Have you heard of the FLOSS rule? It’s one that we often teach beginning spellers.
The floss rule says that we double the final consonant when three conditions are met:
- The word is one syllable.
- The word has a short vowel.
- The word ends in f, l, s, or z.
It’s called the FLOSS rule because most words that follow this pattern end in f, l, or s.
Examples of words that follow the FLOSS rule:
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There are also a few words that should follow the FLOSS rule, but don’t:
I used this game with my mid-year first grader.
As it turned out, he could spell most of the words in the game without needing to consult the FLOSS rule.
But it was still good thing for him to carefully analyze each word. Let me show you what I mean.
To play, we took turns moving around the board using a die.
When he landed on a picture, he said its name. Then he pulled out his recording sheet.
For each word, he asked himself three questions:
Is it one syllable?
Does it have a short vowel?
Does it end with the f, l, s, or z sound?
If he had three yes’s, the word followed the FLOSS rule and needed a double consonant at the end. If not, it needed only a single consonant.
There are two tricky words built into the game, and they are marked with a star. Bus and egg do not follow the FLOSS rule. If they did, BUS would be spelled buss, and EGG would be spelled eg.
When I landed on bus, this is what I recorded on my answer sheet.
So what do you think? Could this game help your spellers become confident with the FLOSS rule?
- Teach the FLOSS rule to the whole class in one or more focused lessons before introducing the game.
- Practice using the recording sheet as a class before expecting students to use it on their own during the game. It takes a little practice to get the hang of it.
Hello! This looks like a great game! I have a somewhat related question…do you know of a similar rule for 2 syllable words? Two of my kiddos (grade 5, grade 2) have double consonant words in their spelling lists this week, but as stated, they are mostly 2 syllable words, i.e. tennis, wobble, address, gutter, yellow, matter, pattern, common, puppetry, summit…I understand this isn’t exactly related to this post so no worries if you’re unable to help. If you are though, I’d greatly appreciate a point in the right direction!
Great question, Sarah! I think this post will help! https://brainspring.com/ortongillinghamweekly/why-is-the-consonant-doubled-in-words-like-rabbit-and-kitten/
Thank you for this fantastic game, my children really enjoyed playing it. However, we were all confused about the word ‘princess’ as it didn’t fit the rule of needing to be ‘one syllable’. Would this word be another exception to the rule word? Or, we live in New Zealand so maybe our accent is the issue?
Heather Groth, Customer Support
Thanks for noticing, Jocelyn! This is an edit we need to make to the game. It takes us a long time to edit freebies, but we will put it on the list!
Thank you so much for this free resource. My students will love it.
During this coronavirus, I am tutoring my granddaughter remotely. The Floss Rule Game is just what we needed! Thank you!
Out of curiosity, why are egg and add rule breakers? The rule states “ends with f, l, s, or z sounds”. I appreciate all of your hard work and generosity! Thank you!
Because the final consonant is doubled after a short vowel even though they do not end with f, l, s, or z. 🙂
What a fun way to review “bonus letters” as they are called in our phonics program.
I can’t wait to play this game with my first and second graders.
I also enjoy many other games you have created! Thank you so much!
I’m so glad you can use this game, Erin! 🙂
Hy everyone. Thanks alot to d freebies. At least now, my phonics class will be more lively and interesting I know with your help. Thanks once again
You’re welcome! I hope this will help you.
Thanks for explaining the the rule and the game this will be great fro my son:)
You’re very welcome, Sharon!
Actually, I think the FLS words do NOT need to be doubled. All the words you listed (drill, sniff, etc) already have the last letter doubled. I think the rule is, double letters other than words ending in FLS. For example sit, sitting, bed, bedding, hem. hemming.
We’re talking about something different. You’re talking about adding ends to words, whereas I’m talking about spelling single-syllable words.
AVALON E HOSPEDALES -JULIEN
Thank you for this freebie!
I will most definitely make use of it in my classroom. I just love all your resources!
You’re welcome, Avalon!
You read my mind!!! It’s exactly what I need right now and honestly, I love to use use your materials over most other things on the internet and Teachers Pay Teachers.
Thanks so much!
You’re very welcome, Susan!
This is a great resource for practicing the floss rule. Just a couple clarifications. I think the floss rule is called floss because it just refers to words that end in f, l, s, or z. Bus does not follow the rule because it used to be called an omnibus. Gas does not because it used to be gasoline. There are a few exceptions (like yes), but generally if a word has only one vowel and ends in f,l, s, or z, the last letter will be doubled.
Thanks for that clarification, Karen!
I printed your Go Fish game for learning Bossy R words.
Can you forward the directions for the game!
All of your work has helped me working as a tutor.
This is Kate, Anna’s assistant. Here is the link to that post, which includes the directions: https://www.themeasuredmom.com/r-controlled-vowels-go-fish/
Enjoy the game!
great game ! Thank you . I’m french and I teach my kids english and I love your fun and very clear material .
You’re very welcome, Rachel!
Thank you for the great freebie! I teach English language learners, and they would definitely benefit from learning this rule and practicing with your fun and engaging materials. I love all your materials!
You’re welcome, Mary!