The Cave - Tip Sheet

An image of the Cover of the book "The Cave" showing a large grey rockface on the side of an ocean or lake


The Cave - Teacher Tip Sheet

Purple Series - Book 1 - The Cave

Grapheme/Phoneme Correspondence

Tips and Activities to Try

Introduced in This Book

  • long <i>/ī/, long <a>/ā/, long <o>/ō/ (in VCe pattern)

Previously Introduced


  • all short vowels, <u>/o͝͝o/
  • <o>/ō/, <e>/ē/, <y>/ī/, <ee>/ē/, <ay>/ā/, <ai>/ā/, <y>/ē/


  • all single consonants and clusters
  • <ng>/ng/, <nk>/nk/
  • <s>/s/ and /z/, <c>/s/


  • <th>/TH/ voiced, <th>/th/ unvoiced, <ck>/k/, <ff>/f/, <zz>/z/, <ss>/s/, <ll>/l/, <sh>/sh/, <ch>/ch/, <qu>/kw/, <-tch>/ch/, <-dge>/j/, <wh>/wh/

Additional Concepts

  • <al> (<a> as short /ŏ/ before <l>)
  • <wa> (<a> as short /ŏ/ after <w>)
  • <er>/er/, <or>/or/

Key Concepts to Understand

  • one job of marker <e> (often referred to as “magic <e>”) is to mark the preceding vowel as long

Note: “The Cave” includes i-e (“i consonant e”), a-e (“a consonant e”), o-e (“o consonant e”) so ensure students have had a lot of practice with VCe before reading this book.

Review soft <c> from “Recess” (Blue Series)

  • <c> when pronounced /s/ is often referred to as soft <c>
  • in complete English words, <c> is usually pronounced /s/ when followed by <e>, <i>, or <y> (e.g., ice)

Words and Phrases for Reading and Writing

Here is a list of words that can be used for phonemic awareness activities, reading, dictation, games cards, etc.:

  • blame, scale, state, shame, crave, grade, crime, shine, spine, white, size, drive, broke, chore, spoke, slope, globe, stole
  • words with soft <c> → price, slice, splice, place, space, grace, dice

Here are phrases that can be used for reading and/or dictation practice. These phrases can be combined to create sentences. A good opportunity arises to address syntax if the resulting sentence is not grammatically correct.

Noun Phrase

Verb Phrase

Prepositional Phrase

the white hose on sale

was laying

by the home

the ripe lime

rolled all the way

(refer to Bobcats Tip Sheet)

to the slope

the nice bride

was awake

by the lake

her safe plane

was going to race

to the rare rose


You can differentiate for your students by dropping some of the words in these phases (e.g., “the ripe lime” can just be “the lime”).

Orthographic Conventions/Patterns and Generalisations

Tips and Activities to Try

  • review <wa> (<a> as short /ŏ/ after <w>)

Key Concepts to Understand

  • when <a> follows <w> it is usually pronounced /ŏ/
  • when <wa> is followed by /g/ or /k/ (velar stop) the <a> represents a short sound /ă/ (e.g., wag, whack, wax)

Word Sort

Provide students with the following (unsorted) words:

<a> as /ŏ/

<a> as /ă/

wand, watch, want, water, wasp, wall, wafted, swan, swamp, swap, swat

wagging, whack, wax, wago


The goal is for students to notice that the <a> is pronounced /ă/ when followed by /g/ or /k/ (velar stop).


Tips and Activities to Try

Previously Introduced

  • suffix <-s> third person singular, plural, and possessive
  • suffix <-ing> as present participle
  • suffix <-ed> as past tense of a verb
  • compound words

Key Concepts to Understand

  • Note: It is important to ask students to cover the suffix with their finger in order to focus on the base when consonant clusters are in final position and have an attached suffix. When reading drifting, ask students to cover the <-ing> and read drift, ask them to release their finger and reread the entire word with the <-ing> - drifting.

Comprehension Corner - The Cave

Vocabulary Development

  • What is a tunnel? How are tunnels formed?

Making Connections

  • How would you feel if you were exploring a cave?


  • The author writes, “Dad, Tess, and Zack went along the walls to get inside the cave.” Why do they go along the walls?


  • What is your favourite page in this book? Why?
  • What activities did the family do when they were camping?


Tip Sheet written by Shari Kudsia and Helen Maclean - April 2023 - ©SyllaSense Inc.