R and W minimal pairs
Minimal pairs are fantastic for practising pronunciation. They are also great for finding and ironing out pronunciation problems in specific phonic areas. This post is all about the minimal pairs of r and w.
Being that they are minimal pairs these words all sound very similar but are dissimilar in one sound, in this case, the r and w sounds. The free printable picture words all are 1 syllable and are different on the initial or first consonant. A bonus of practising minimal pairs with these cards is that students will also pick up some new vocabulary along the way.
You can cut out the minimal pairs pictures and use them as flashcards or for activities such as matching and memory games. If you print several sets you can also play card games like “snap” or “go fish”.
The words are written under each picture to help. You can easily cut them off if you feel they aren’t required or want to make your activities more challenging. Depending on your nationality, some of the minimal pairs won’t work. It is isn’t a big deal, just don’t use those pairs!
Pronunciation of thr R and W sounds
To pronounce the R sound you need to make your mouth a bit round. Curl your tongue up a little but make sure it doesn’t touch the roof of your mouth. With the sides of your tongue, you should be able to feel your back teeth.
For the pronunciation of the W sound, make your lips round and hard. As you speak be sure to relax your lips as quickly as possible.
R and W minimal pairs pictures printables
There are 4 printables of the minimal pairs r and r, each with 3 pairs or 6 pictures each.
The worksheets contain these words-
Sheet 1 – write and white, run and one, rich and witch.
Sheet 2 – ring and wing, ray and weigh, rest and west.
Sheet 3 – rock and wok, rail and whale, reel and wheel.
Sheet 4 – rake and wake, rag and wag, roar and war.
If you find this post useful you will probably also want to check out the S and Z minimal pairs page.
R and W minimal pairs list
Here is a good list of minimal pairs using r and w for further activities.
|write - white||red - wed||rare - where||run - one|
|rich - witch||ray - weigh||rye - why||rag - wag|
|reel - wheel||rent - went||rail - whale||rig - wig|
|rink - wink||ring - wing||rag - wag||rest - west|
|rip - whip||risk - whisk||rent - went||reed - weed|
|roar - war||room - womb||rise - wise||rate - wait|
|roe - woe||reek - weak||rind - wind||rack - whack|
|raid - weighed||rare - wear||ripe - wipe||round - wound|
|ride - wide||ripe - wipe||rake - wake||reap - weep|
R and W minimal pairs practice sentences
These sentences are great for students to practice their pronunciation of the minimal pairs r and w.
The witch was very rich.
He put the wok on a rock.
How much does that ray weigh?
She went to pay some rent.
Don’t write in white.
He was number one on the run.
Look over the rail at the whale.