Thanks to the wonderful idea of a reader, I’ve created these Word Family Ladders. They’re similar to my beginning sound Blend Ladders, but these contain 37 common word families for your children to work on.


Click here to download the Word Family Ladders

We use plastic alphabet letters or dry erase markers to make the as many words as we can for each family. This helps children recognize common word endings.

Here are some more ideas on practicing the word families:

1. Brainstorm with your child about all the words you can make for each family. Write them on your white board as you go.

2. Read the word family story from “AlphaTales” (Scholastic) – As you read the story have your child be a “word family detective” and see if they can spot all the words in that family!51oSJMgUKpL._SS400_

3. Use Word Family Ladders with the magnetic letters and see how many words you can make.


Click here to see my other K4 Curriculum Activities!

These activities are part of my K4 level expansion to my Letter of the Week Curriculum, click on the images below to see more activities!

K4button copy[8] LOTWlogo[5]

Hope you enjoy!

Here is the list of Word Families and suggestions for each:

–ab: cab, lab, blab, crab, flab, grab, scab, slab, stab

–ack: back, pack, quack, rack, black, crack, shack, snack, stack, track

–ag: bag, rag, tag, brag, flag

–ail: fail, mail, jail, nail, pail, rail, sail, tail, snail, trail

–ain: main, pain, rain, brain, chain, drain, grain, plain, Spain, sprain, stain, train

–ake: bake, cake, fake, lake, make, quake, rake, take, wake, brake, flake, shake, snake

–am: ham, Sam, clam, slam, swam

–an: can, fan, man, pan, ran, tan, van, bran, plan, than

–ank: bank, sank, yank, blank, crank, drank, thank

–ap: cap, lap, map, nap, rap, tap, clap, flap, scrap, slap, snap, strap, trap, wrap

–at: bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, rat, sat, brat, chat, flat, spat, that

–ay: day, may, pay, say, clay, play, pray, spray, stay, tray

–eed: feed, need, seed, weed, bleed, freed, greed, speed

–ell: bell, fell, sell, tell, well, yell, shell, smell, spell, swell

–est: best, guest, nest, pest, rest, test, vest, west, chest, crest
–ew: dew, few, knew, new, blew, chew
–ick: kick, lick, pick, quick, sick, brick, chick, click, stick, thick, trick
–ight: knight, light, might, night, right, sight, tight, bright, flight, fright, slight
–ill: fill, hill, pill, will, chill, drill, grill, skill, spill, thrill
–in: bin, fin, pin, sin, win, chin, grin, shin, skin, spin, thin, twin
–ine: fine, line, mine, nine, pine, vine, wine, shine, spine, whine
–ing: king, ring, sing, wing, bring, cling, spring, sting, string, swing, thing
–ink: link, pink, sink, wink, blink, drink, shrink, stink, think
–ip: dip, hip, lip, rip, sip, tip, chip, clip, drip, flip, grip, ship, skip, strip, trip, whip
–ob: knob, mob, rob, blob, slob, snob
–ock: knock, lock, dock, rock, sock, block, clock, frock, shock, stock
–op: cop, hop, mop, pop, top, chop, crop, drop, flop, plop, shop, stop
–ore: bore, more, sore, tore, wore, chore, score, shore, snore, store
–ot: got, dot, hot, knot, lot, not, plot, shot, spot
–out: grout, scout, shout, spout, sprout
–ow: cow, how, now, brow, chow, plow
–uck: buck, duck, luck, cluck, stuck, truck
–um: gum, hum, drum, plum, slum
–unk: junk, chunk, drunk, shrunk, stunk, trunk
-y: by, my, cry, dry, fly, fry, shy, sky, spy, try, why

Hope you enjoy learning your Word Families!



  1. Hey there

    I just wanted to thank you for such an awesome tool. what a blessing. i am a canadian missionary living in brazil (and married to a brazilian). i have the awesome and terribly challenging task of teaching my 6 year old boy (that may be adhd and may have dislexia) how to read english. for now he’s in the brazilian school system (and it’s been a real challenge for his teacher), but may soon have to homeschool full time because of our work and travels. if i do end up having to I’ll definitely be stopping by here a lot more. thanks again and God bless.

    Staci Dunn Silva
  2. I have been using your resources for years. They are well done and consistent.
    I love these word family ladders. I am wondering if you are considering adding any more endings to your current list? I have made my own for those that you do not have, but they are not quite as good.

  3. Thank you from a Second generation homeschooling Momma/Gram-Gram. I’m so grateful for wonderful sites like this…36 years ago we had dial-up internet and the resources were few and far between. This site is a tremendous blessing as I begin pre-school with my children’s LITTLES.


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