1-1-1 Spelling Rules: -dge
Another 1-1-1 spelling rule is the -dge spelling rule. When should a student use -dge at the end of a word versus -ge when spelling the /j/ sound? If a word is one syllable, one short vowel, with one /j/ sound at the end of the word, it’s spelled with -dge (dodge, fudge). Otherwise, you will most likely use ge to spell the /j/ sound (page, orange). In the English language, the letter ‘j’ never ends a word, so that will never be an option.
Students should use the below criteria when deciding which letter to use when spelling the /j/ sound at the end of a word:
- Is it a one-syllable word?
- Does it have a single short vowel?
- Does it end in a /j/ sound?
If a student answers ‘yes’ to all 3 questions, then the /j/ sound should be spelled -dge. If they answer ‘no’ to one or more of the questions, then it will most likely be spelled ge.
A great way to practice is to ask students about various words and decide if it meets the criteria. For example:
- “Page? Why or why not?” Answer: No, does not have a short vowel sound.
- “Fudge? Why or why not?” Answer: Yes, has one syllable, one short vowel, and /j/ at the end.
Remember that there are safe words and sentences in IMSE’s Scope and Sequence book when teaching any of the 1-1-1 rules. You can also find lessons on 1-1-1 spelling rules in IMSE’s Practice Books and IOG.