Teaching Students How To Think: Euphony   Leave a comment

Most of my posts are a mix of techniques to use, wordbanks and and advice on deconstructing the English language. Today I am going to show how the mood of a passage of writing can be affected by the words chosen. Using euphony in an essay can be a devastatingly effective technique. Essentially, it is manipulating soft-sounding vowels and consonants to instill a dreamy, pleasant mood.

Underneath is an example of the words I would compile if I was writing an essay on a waterfall. I may not use all of them but I would certainly try to incorporate a lot of them into the essay. I hope it helps teachers and students to understand how each word you write has an effect on the mood/tone of a passage and the narrative. The next post will be on the description of a Christmas tree. I am still working on it and it will be uploaded soon. Thanks for all the nice comments and take care.

Please check out my new book and workbook by clicking the title: Writing with Stardust.


Euphony is using soft vowels, mellow consonants and pleasant words to create a soothing tone. In essence, it is the use of individual letters and phonics (vocal sounds) in order to recreate a harmony of sound in your writing. It is asking a lot to expect a student or child to incorporate this into their writing if they were not previously aware of it. It is another technique that requires time and patience. You will find, however, that they love working with soft sounds and soothing letters if it is approached in the right way.

For example, if you ask any child what the softest word in the English language is, they will struggle. If you ask them what word they would use to stop a child crying, they will immediately say shush or hush. You can then explain that the letters ‘sh’ are the softest in the English language. A good exercise to try is to get them to write down what they think are the softest letters in the English language. If you agree with the letters, ask them to write down a list of soft sounding words containing those letters. Once they have ten words, ask them to put the words into a grid like the one below. That is a grid for a waterfall. Any soft sounds in nature, such as a river, birdsong or a gentle wind may be attempted. Those who do very well at this will most likely have a high degree of musical intelligence also.

The ability to use euphony in writing is a gift. That gift can be imparted by some simple exercises. If your students can make their words resonate like the glassy tinkle of a champagne flute, then that is a reward in itself for an educator.


LETTERS          LEVEL 1                     LEVEL 2                  LEVEL 3              LEVEL 4                LEVEL5

‘sh’ swish swoosh lush plush swash
‘ll’ mellow lullaby illusory allure alleluia
‘l’  loom lilting lithe lyrical lissome
‘ee’ sheets seeps sleepy sleepless sheen
‘m’ dreamy ambrosial mystical melodious mellifluous
‘r’ swirls suspires murmurs serene luxurious
‘s’ whispers blissful slumbers mystical susurrous
‘u’ azure aura mumbles aurora assuages
‘w’ shallows warblers whish whirrs willowy
‘zy’ hazy dozy gauzy snoozy wheezy

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