This is another rule that tends to intimidate young children, and yet they love the words they are able to read once they come to know it. All children love a good knight-in-shining-armor story, right?
So we teach the kn digraph in a similar way to how we teach the gn digraph: kn has a silent k — the sound is simply | n |. That is the easiest explanation.
So make a card and introduce some kn words.
Something to talk about this time is the concept of homophones. These are words that sound the same, but are spelled differently. For example, we have in the list above knight/night and know/no. I think it’s best to point out to children how helpful this is. If I wrote a story about a “dark knight,” you know that I don’t mean a “dark night” without any context clues at all.
We do have in our language words that are spelled the same but have different meanings, and they are some of the most difficult words for early readers because you can only figure out what is meant by surveying the surrounding context, and that’s a lot to ask of a little guy who is still trying hard to decode his words!
So, homophones really save the day. By giving two words that sound exactly the same different spellings, we immediately communicate the meaning of the words when they are written down. This is amazingly convenient, so don’t be afraid to encourage these little ones to delight in yet another beauty we find in our language.
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