The Tides - Tip Sheet

An image of the cover of the book "The Tides" showing the muddy beaches and tall cliffs of The Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick, Canada


The Tides - Teacher Tip Sheet

Purple Series - Book 7 - The Tides

Grapheme/Phoneme Correspondence

Tips and Activities to Try

Previously Introduced


  • all short vowels, <u>/o͝͝o/
  • <o>/ō/, <e>/ē/, <y>/ī/, <ee>/ē/, <ay>/ā/, <ai>/ā/, <y>/ē/, <a-e>/ā/, <i-e>/ī/, <o-e>/ō/, <u-e>/yū/, <u-e>/o̅o̅/, <e-e>/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/, <wr>/r/

Additional Concepts

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

Key Concepts to Understand - suffix <-est>

  • suffix <-est> - as superlative (the most)
  • suffix <-est> is a vowel suffix, so be mindful of suffixing conventions when building words

Refer to Page 4 of Morphology Information Background Sheets


Activity To Try

  1. Provide students with a suffix -est card (use red to differentiate from the base).
  2. Teacher reads base such as small, (either written on the board or orally presented).
  3. Students repeat small, hold up suffix -est and say the new word smallest.

Students are responsible for repeating the base and adding the suffix <-est>, NOT independently decoding the base. Therefore, words with vowel teams that have not yet been taught can be used in this activity. The goal is to understand suffix <-est> as a meaningful unit, not as something to sound out.

Suggested bases:

  • big, tall, sweet, short, nice, dark, light, smooth, high, strong, fine, slow, loud, bright

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.:

  • fastest, greenest, longest, shortest, softest, smallest, kindest, coldest, where, there, their, they’re, here

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 kindest, sweetest kid

tapped on the biggest drum

by the camping lodges

the saddest writer

wrote the longest songs

on all of their porches

the strongest mule

pulled the thankful wren

from the coldest ledge

the greenest frog

was riding on the smallest deer

between the tallest bushes


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


Introduced in This Book

  • suffix <-est> as superlative (the most)

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
  • suffix <-y>
  • suffix <-er> as comparative/as agent
  • suffix <-es> as plural
  • suffix <-ful>

High Frequency Words

Tips and Activities to Try

  • ”where”/ ”there”

Key Concepts to Understand

  • it is best to teach here, there and where together as they are all “location” words and have a similar spelling pattern (“ere”)

Note: have students notice that the pronunciation of the “ere” is not consistent with these three words which is not unexpected as our spelling system supports meaning before pronunciation


You may also want to teach the homophones their/there/they’re:

  • their → belonging to or associated with the people or things previously mentioned (e.g., “somebody’s something”)
  • there → place/position
  • they’re → contraction of they are

Comprehension Corner - The Tides

Vocabulary Development

  • The author says, “There, they spotted some caves, and the oddest rock spires.”
  • What’s another word for spotted in this sentence? What is a rock spire?

Making Connections

  • Have you ever seen tides? Where?
  • Do you think you’d like to play in the tides? Why or why not?


  • Why do you think Dad’s feet left the deepest footprints in the mud?


  • What did Mom, Dad, Tess and Zack do at Hopewell Rocks?


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