g before e will often soft be

The letter g often (but not always) has the soft sound of /j/ before an e. 

A large stāgecoach plunged over the brĭdge.

The g in words that end in -ge or -dge is often soft. Silent e makes the vowel long in words like “pāge,” but Defender d can stop the vowel from being long in “ĕdge” and more words.

GbeforeE

Play a wordsearch game with words that are long or short and the g is soft.

hinge

Some words that end with -nge also have a soft g. Many have a short vowel, except: range, change, and strange, & sponge and orange with the schwa sound. A couple more words with a soft g are bilge and bulge.

GbeforeEother

power-cable-us-md

In some words with a Bossy R vowel followed by ge like “charge,” the g is also soft.

GbeforeEBossyR

Play a wordsearch game with these words. 

GEwords

G also has the soft /j/ sound in some words that begin with ge: gem, gel, gentle, gerbil, geography. But there are quite a few exceptions to this guideline in words that begin with ge, and some have the hard /g/ sound: get, gecko, gear, geek, geese.

G before e will often soft /j/ be is introduced as one of the ways that Silent e can vary in the Phonics Pow Toolkit with worksheets, a boardgame, and spot & dot sentences. Hard or soft c and g are one of the ways that consonants can vary.

Find and Lift the Lost Gold

Closed syllables with a vowel followed by at least one consonant, are often short…except in some words with i & o followed by two consonants.

I was tōld the cōlt is kīnd of wīld.

colt

I&Ocanbelong

If you have ever lŏst a gĭft or made a lĭst, you know that this is not always so.

i&olong&short

i and o are usually short when the two consonants after the vowel are Digraphs-two letters that make one sound. This includes:

floss words: Bĭll is ĭll, give him a kĭss and a pĭll. The bŏss is ŏdd, he is always crŏss. (an exception is: roll)

-ck=/k/: throw a stĭck ŏff the dŏck.

Consonant digraphs: sĭng a lŏng sŏng, and swĭsh the fĭsh brŏth. (the word bōth is an exception)

Strategy: to fīnd lŏng, pĭck bōth. First try the long sound to see if it is a recognizable word, next try short.

treasuremap

Remember to fīnd and lĭft the lŏst gōld!

These words can be practiced with a Long or Short i or o Soccer Game. Teams are chosen for either the long vowel sound or the short vowel sound and take turns drawing words to match the pattern.

The words can be printed on “soccer balls” and cut out with a 1 inch circle punch to add to the fun.

The Long or Short i or o Soccer Game is available at Teachers Pay Teachers.

WATCH videos & PLAY games online at the Vowels That Vary Wakelet Tutorial, including a wordsearch.

See a slideshow of words that show the contrast between CVC words and CVCC words with a long i & o at More Ways Vowels Can Be Long.

Some Love Gloves

Some one syllable words with the letter o and a silent e at the end make the long o sound, like drove and home. Others that you might expect to have a long vowel sound do not. Instead, they make the “uh” schwa sound, which sounds very similar to short u. Some, love, and glove are a few of these. Practice these words after learning about Silent e (III.a).

Notice that this often happens when the letter o comes before the letters m, n, & v. Of course, some words DO follow the Silent e guideline and have the long o sound.

Play an online wordsearch game with these words.

The Some Love Gloves set that includes a worksheet and boardgame 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.

Smooth Beach

After learning about Consonant Digraphs with short vowels at the end of the SOUND OUT WORDS section (II.c), and about Diphthongs (III.c) and Vowel Teams (III.d), it is time to learn about words that combine these patterns! Words like…

SMOOTH BEACH!

Download 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 diphthongs/vowel teams. The SMOOTH BEACH freebie is available to download at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers. Also available is a free wordlist and set of bookmarks with consonant digraphs and vowel patterns.

Play the Smooth Beach wordsearch online.

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

Chase the Sheep

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

CHASE THE SHEEP!

This free set of activities 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 CHASE THE SHEEP freebie is available to download at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers. Also available is a free wordlist and set of bookmarks with consonant digraphs and vowel patterns.

Play the Chase the Sheep wordsearch online.

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

I before E is Weird

Eight (ā) thieves (ē) tried (ī) to deceive (ē).

You may have heard this saying: i before e, except after c, and when sounding like a, as in neighbor and weigh. This is a guideline where there are quite a few exceptions: i before e, unless foreign scientist Keith leisurely seizes caffeine from feisty atheists.

Generally speaking, i before e (as in thief and tried)

except after c (as in deceive)

or when sounding like a, as in neighbor or weigh (and eight)

This is just one of the ways that vowels can vary. Practice with the I before E is Weird set of worksheets, available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

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.

IGH is included in the Vowel Teams section of the Phonics Pow Toolkit. III.4

  • 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)

LongVowelPatterns

This chart with helpful color coding from the Long Vowel Patterns section of the Phonics Pow Toolkit shows some examples.

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.

FlossySpot&Dot

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. Play a word search game at Turtle Diary. 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 said “quack” on the deck near a slick dock. 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.

The Schwa Sound

SchwaSymbolChairBe Aware of Schwa:

Schwa is often a light “uh” sound that can be made by any vowel. It is the most common sound in the English language. It is often found in unstressed syllables, and very similar to a short u, but is softer and weaker.

SchwaCard

The Schwa sound is often found in words with more than one syllable, so it is included at the end of the Phonics Pow Toolkit. (V.c) However, it is a good idea to introduce it earlier as Schwa can be found in some one syllable words like: the, a, was, and of.

The sled was a lot of fun.

Hear the Schwa sound in these one syllable words with the letter o: My son won a ton of money a month from the lottery. At the end of the Silent e section (III.a) there are activities with words that have the Schwa sound (some love gloves).

WATCH

Extra Attention to A Schwa

Any vowel can make the Schwa sound: zebra, open, pencil, lemon, and butter. But let’s give a little extra attention to the letter A, which can make the Schwa sound at the beginning (aware) and end (ninja) of some words. Play an online word search game with words where the letter a makes the Schwa sound at the beginning.

The letter a can make the Schwa sound at the end of some words like extra.

The letter a can also sometimes make the Schwa sound in the middle of words like: alphabet, amazon, elephant.

Practice words that have an A Schwa with a set of resources available at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers that includes a handout, worksheet, and nice dice practice.

More Resources

PLAY A free printable Sheriff Schwa Worksheet from teachchildrenesl.com and Schwa maze at English-Zone.com. Pizza! Pizza! printable schwa game from the literacy nest. Online Quiz at purposegames.

Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers: Schwa Word Sort and free Schwa Word Treasure game.

Note: read about short U & the schwa sound at the challengeoflearningUSEnglish