Long Vowel Patterns

To know all of the ways that vowels can be long, learn about:

IGH is a trigraph – one sound is made with three letters. The gh is silent and the i is long. The sound of IGH is included with vowel teams in the Phonics Pow Toolkit, as the other vowels have teams that make the long sound, but i only has the trigraph IGH. Learn more about the vowel trigraphs AIR and EAR at Bossy R variations. WATCH videos on igh from Little Learners and Kids vs. Phonics, and try a long i wordsearch.

  • ā – ai & ay
  • ē – ea & ee
  • ī – igh
  • ō – oa & ow
  • ū – ui & ew

Can you identify all the long vowel patterns in the sentences below?

LONG I: The pilot tried to fly kind of high for a mile.

More sentences with long vowel patterns:

LONG A: They say the lady will take the train today at eight.

LONG E: We even like these crazy sheep that bleat.

LONG O: Put a coat on to go home in the cold snow.

LONG U: The cool jewel on her blue suit was super huge.

Word searches for long e, i, o , & u. Download the free Long Vowel Sentences  anchor chart pdf. Long vowel patterns are included in free word sort games and in the Phonics Pow Toolkit. (III.f)

Oh, Those OUGH Words!

The phonogram OUGH is one of the toughest in the English language, with at least six different pronunciations.

Although (long o) I ate when I was through (ew) ploughing (ow) the garden, the meat I bought (short o) was so tough (short u) it made me cough (short o).

In some words:

  1. ough = ow (gh is silent): plough, bough, drought.
  2. ough = ō (gh is silent): dough, although, thorough.
  3. ough = ŏ (gh = /f/): cough, trough
  4. ough = ŏ (gh is silent): ought, bought, fought, brought, sought, thought.
  5. ough = ŭ (gh = /f/): rough, tough, enough.
  6. In the word “through,” ough = ū (gh is silent)

Practice OUGH words at Quizlet, and highlight the OUGH words in the sentences at BBC Bitesize.  Watch the video below from the “I Love Lucy” show.

When we learn about diphthongs, the main sound of OU is OW, but it can vary, as seen in these OUGH words. A few more ways that OU can vary are seen in the Nessy Reading Strategy video on OU and in the sentence below.

I thought (short o) our (ow-r) chicken soup (long u) for the young (short u) soul (long o) could (oo) be about (ow) cool enough (short u) to pour (long o-r).

A worksheet for Oh, Those OUGH words! is available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Learn more about the Phonics Pow Toolkit, how to get free word sort games and more free resources.

Short Vowel Variations

After learning about short vowels and consonant blends, learn about short vowel variations. II.c SOUND OUT WORDS – Short vowel variations.

Flossy Words. The letters f, l, s (and sometimes z) often double at the end of one syllable words with a short vowel. Turn the drill off in class or it will buzz. The Bee Buzz game and free Flossy Word Treasure are available at Teachers Pay Teachers.

WATCH videos and PLAY games at the Flossy Words tutorial at Wakelet.

The letter a can say short o. The -all word family is special. In these flossy words the letter a makes a short ŏ sound. WATCH a Prezi and a Super Simple turn and learn video. The letter a can say short ŏ before -ll, and after w and qu. Watch the dog play squash with the ball. A Sounds of A worksheet is available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Closed syllables often have a short vowel, but sometimes not. The letters i and o can sometimes be long when followed by two consonants (but not always!) Fīnd and lĭft the lŏst gōld.

Some one syllable words make a schwa sound. Schwa is often a quick and light “uh” sound. Hear the schwa in these sight words: the sled was a lot of fun. And in these words with the letter o: My son won a ton of money a month from the lottery.

The /k/ sound at the end of one syllable words with short vowels is often spelled -ck. The duck was on a slick dock near the back deck. Try an online wordsearch for the -ck ending.

Some words with short vowels have consonant digraphs. Digraphs are two letters that make one sound, and these consonant letters together make a new sound.

Download bookmarks with pattern sorts for short vowel variations: flossy words, a can say o, ck endings, and short vowels with digraphs. Get free word sorts that include these patterns.

Short Vowel Variations BookmarksLearn about more ways that vowels can vary.

Tricky Y

The letter y is tricky indeed. It can make many sounds, more than three!

Yes, y is a consonant in yellow and yolk.

Sometimes y makes a short i sound like in system and gym.

A y at the end can a vowel be, with the sound of a long i or e. How do you know which you see? At the end of one syllable words, y often says “i” like in fly. With more syllables, it is often a long e.

There are some exceptions, like the one syllable word “key” with the long e sound. (Hey! No Way! -ey can sound like a long a in some words like grey, and the vowel team -ay a long a will say.) You can’t deny y is long i in two syllable words like: July, supply, reply, rely, and apply. Some two syllable words go in the long i pile like typist and style.

WATCH videos and PLAY online games about Tricky y at the Vowels That Vary Wakelet tutorial.

Download a free handout on Tricky Y, and get a Y flower sort game.

Practice Tricky Y with a story and word sort at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

Shark Chart!

After learning about Consonant Digraphs with short vowels at the end of the SOUND OUT WORDS section (II.c), and about Bossy R (III.b), it is time to learn about words that have BOTH! Words like…

SHARK CHART

 

 

I was inspired by Shark Week to put together a free set of activities that includes a worksheet, a word search, and a word sort. The words can be sorted two ways: by digraphs or by the Bossy R vowel. The SHARK CHART freebie is available to download at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

PLAY the Shark Chart word search online.

Learn more about Word Sorts and get the free set of word sort games for the Phonics Pow Toolkit.

The ABCs of Games for Reading

ABCgames
Active, Board, & Card Games

When it comes to hands-on games to practice reading skills, a good mix includes Active games, Board games, and Card games. (For free online games for phonics, check out this Symbaloo.) This post contains ideas for each kind of hands-on game.

Alphabet

Phonemic Awareness

Short Vowels (CVC words)

Word Families

Blends

  • A. Blend target shoot. Write two different blends with dry erase marker on Solo plastic plates. Mix pictures for the two blends (from flyingintolearning below) to draw and throw a suction cup ball to hit the correct target.
  • B. Picture blend (flyingintolearning) match onto chart (thisreadingmama) or Great Green Grapes Blend Board Game (Super Tutor Tools)
  • C. Initial Blends go fish (Adrian Bruce)

Silent e

Bossy R

Consonant Digraphs

Diphthongs (vowel teams that make new sounds)

Vowel Teams that are often long

  • A. Pick & Toss – Cut 3 equal size holes in a large box or trifold presentation board. Label the holes AI, EA, & OA. Print Marshmallow Match from thebubblegumtree & cut out the word cards. Take turns drawing a card & tossing a ball or beanbag through the correct hole. 1st one to match & toss all three targets wins.
  • B. Make the Cake (Long A-Silent e & vowel teams), Nice Dice Vowel Teams, AI/AY Board game or the Phonics Patterns Board Game Set (Super Tutor Tools)
  • C. Vowel Pattern Yahtzee (Super Tutor Tools)

Sight Words

SHORT, LONG, or BOSSY R

After learning about Silent e and Bossy R, click on the wheel below to practice the patterns! Make three columns on the top of a page, with the headings: SHORT, LONG, or BOSSY R. Take turns spinning the wheel to choose a column, then roll dice to choose a word. See who can make the longest list of words in 5 minutes.

 

ShortLongBossyR

You can also download a worksheet. It can be printed on cardstock and the words cut apart for a word sort.

Games of all kinds make learning to read fun!

Word Sort Games

Cover

This set of word sort games designed to go along with the Phonics Pow Toolkit is available as a free download. (link below) Word sorts are a tool for teaching reading skills that have been shown to be effective. We’ve got you covered! Print on cardstock, cut out, store in zip-lock bags, and play while learning.

WordSortGames

Fill the phonogram card with one word card of each pattern for a quick game (player who fills card first wins), or use all the word cards for a longer game (player with the most word cards wins). Mix skip (the turn is skipped if drawn) and swipe (player can take a word card from the other player) cards in with word cards to add fun. POW!

Check out the Phonics Pow Toolkit and get your free Word Sort Games!

READ, just read

photo of girl reading book
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Reading 20 minutes a day has been shown by research to have many benefits. Students who read 20 minutes a day from kindergarten through 6th grade are likely to score in the 90th percentile on standardized tests. Basically, reading makes you a smartie!

Smartie1

Below is a collection of great options for reading. Check your local library or a bookstore for books to target specific phonics skills, and explore the links below for books you can access anytime! Besides books and ebooks, your library may provide online access to resources like Bookflix from Scholastic – check with them.

This Symbaloo collection has links to many websites that provide books online. Some even include audio and/or video!

BEGINNING READERS

Decodable books contain only phonetic code that has been learned. Practice with words and sentences from Stickyball.net. Progressive Phonics has books that target phonics patterns that can be read online or printed. Harcourt provides decodable books: k6 thinkcentral.com-K | 1. Freereading.net also has decodable passages.

Emergent readers contain pictures for support and repeating text. shala-books provides emergent and transitional readers with audio. Beginning reads from textproject.org contain many color pictures.

MORE ADVANCED READERS

Check Reading Comprehension at Mr Nussbaum (passages w/audio & comprehension check) and K5 Learning (passages w/comprehension)

Classic Ebooks: Bygosh.com has ebooks for children, and Project Gutenberg has a children’s bookshelf with picture books and children’s literature. Loyalbooks.com has free classic ebooks and audiobooks, and free classic ebooks may be found at Manybooks.net and Planetebook.

With so many options, there is no better time to read than now!

10 Steps to Reading

Learn skills for reading with the following ideas. These tips include some of my favorite free online resources.Reading101

Download the 10 Steps to Reading (pdf)

1. Learn letter names  & sounds, and practice hearing and manipulating sounds; Phonemic awareness.

2. Sound out words with short vowels and CVC words (Consonant-Vowel-Consonant), practice with word families, then continue with consonant blends.

3. Learn phonics patterns in a sensible sequence as the student is ready. Try the phonics presentations at ReadingBear.org and watch fun videos that cover many phonics patterns with Kids vs Phonics from RedCatReading.

4. Practice patterns with picture and word sorts.

5. Play games that encourage literacy. Hands on games include traditional games like Boggle and Bananagrams, as well as many free printable games that can be found through links on specific phonics skills. Free online games are also available at this Symbaloo. The Mozilla Firefox browser may help with Flash games on mobile devices.

6. Read books to practice the patterns. The books from Progressive Phonics are free, fun, and practice the phonics patterns. They can be printed or read online.

7. Learn sight words. Many high frequency words are not decodable with phonics guidelines.

8. Encourage reading 20 minutes a day. Children who do this from Kindergarten through 6th grade score 90% better than their peers on tests. Check out more Benefits of reading.

9. Use your library. Attend storytimes, participate in summer reading programs, check out books & online resources. Choose fun books at the right level.

10. Read “Phonics from A to Z” by Wiley Blevins (online at issuu) and learn literacy terms.

Credits: Some artwork copyrighted by Mark A Hicks, illustrator, www.MARKiX.net. Used with permission. Sources for other graphics at PinterestPattern charts from boostforreaders

Learn more at Reading Basics from ReadingRockets.org. They have a Get Ready to Read screening tool too.

Sequence for teaching reading

PhonicsSequence

The sequence followed by different methods of teaching reading can vary. The Phonics Pow Toolkit is designed to help teachers teach, and students learn with a sensible sequence that builds on skills as they are learned. It is organized in five sections, with most sections having three parts (except the vowel pattern section, which has six). Color coding often provides clues, like the color RED (a CVC word with a short vowel) for the SOUND OUT WORDS section. As much as possible, one syllable words that include only patterns that have been learned are used until the final section.

SequenceWithColors

Closed syllables often have a short vowel (with some exceptions). Open syllables have a long vowel sound, and are most often found in words with more than one syllable. However, there are some one syllable words that are open, like: he, me, we, no, go, and so. These are sight words that are frequently seen in written text, so introducing open and closed syllables with one syllable words is a good plan.

Blends are introduced next, with words that have a short vowel.

Consonant patterns are placed together in one section for convenience. Digraphs are a pair of letters that represent one sound. Consonant digraphs may be introduced with words that have a short vowel at the end of the SOUND OUT WORDS section. Many words with consonant digraphs have advanced vowel patterns that have not been introduced yet, so those are covered as patterns are learned. Hard or soft c and g may also be introduced using with words that have a short vowel.

The schwa sound is usually a quick and weak “uh” that can be made by any vowel. It is often found in words with more than one syllable. However, there are a few one syllable words with the schwa sound like: of, from, and was. At the end of the silent e section, more is learned with words like “love” and “gloves,” which make the schwa sound instead of being long. The idea of schwa is introduced as a way that vowels can vary.

Learning Vowel Patterns begins with Silent e, then Bossy R, followed by Diphthongs and Vowel Teams. Vowel digraphs or combinations are separated into those that often make a long vowel sound (vowel teams) and those that make mostly new sounds (diphthongs). When diphthongs are introduced first, many of the remaining combinations make a long vowel sound. However, this is not always reliable, and there are many exceptions to learn about, so they are the last vowel patterns to learn. The final section includes Consonant-le syllables and more work with multi-syllable words.

I. GET READY

II. SOUND OUT WORDS

III. VOWEL PATTERNS

IV. CONSONANT PATTERNS

V. MULTI-SYLLABLE WORDS

Phonics instruction that is systematic (presented in a logical sequence) and explicit (directly taught) has been shown by research to be beneficial in teaching reading. Learn more about the Phonics Pow Toolkit and how to be a super reading teacher.