Vowels That Vary

One of the trickiest things about the English language is that vowels may sometimes look the same and make different sounds. There are even variations with short vowels. (II.b)

WATCH videos and PLAY online games to learn more at the vowels that vary tutorial at Wakelet.

Y at the end of a one syllable word, often says a long “I” as in fly. Learn more about Tricky Y.

Syllables that are closed are usually short, but when you fīnd and lĭft the gōld don’t get lŏst. The letters i and o followed by two consonants can be bōth – short or long.

AlikeO

And that is not all…did I mention that the letter a can say a short ŏ like in watch or in ball? The Sounds of A Worksheet/Word Sort is available at TeachersPayTeachers. Learn more about Short Vowel Variations.

We have met OO/OO, one of the diphthongs. Which might be a foot that is short, or a boot that is too long. How about OU, which can be very rough?More than six sounds can really be tough. i before e is weird too and can vary a lot. i before e, unless foreign scientist Keith leisurely seizes caffeine from feisty atheists.

More vowels that can vary are OW, EA, IE.  When you eat (ē) bread (ĕ ) with a steak (ā) , EA can also say a long a, isn’t that great?

2Sounds

R controlled vowels can vary a lot: AR can sound like ER, as in pillar or dollar. So can OR, when you start your motor. When there is an E before AR all bets are off. It might be ER when you learn, or maybe a long e that you hear. It can even be a polar bear on a chair. Learn more about the Bossy R Schwa sound and other variations.

Last, but not least of all, is the amazing schwa. Any vowel can make this lazy “uh” sound, so watch out for schwas all around!

SchwaCard

These guidelines may help you to figure out the many sounds you will discover all about.

Vowel Teams

Two letters that work together, some vowels work as a team. Two vowels can be a set in a seat and the first one likes to speak.

VowelTeamChair

Vowel Teams (with the exception of diphthongs, which usually make new sounds) are often long, making the sound of the 1st vowel & the 2nd vowel is silent. This guideline is sometimes not reliable, however. There can be many exceptions. EA often makes the long E sound (eat), but sometimes a short E  (bread) or long A (steak). IE often makes the long I sound, but sometimes a long E sound (pie or thief).

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at the Vowel Team tutorial at Wakelet

Some online games require flash, which is no longer supported after 12/31/2020. Learn more at The End of Flash.  

WATCH more videos at Kids vs Phonics: A (5:02), E (4:56), I (6:13) O (1:23) U (1:50).

Long Vowel Pattern Chart from This Reading Mama, & Long Vowel Pattern Chart from All About Learning Press (1 page, color)

SORTS Use the words & pictures from Vowel Digraph flashcards at Lanternfish ESL, Long Vowel Match-up from Liz’s Early Learning Spot,  AI/AY picture sort & OA/OW picture sort from 1st Grade & Fabulous (B&W), AI/AY words & picturesOA/OW color pictures from the measured mom

ACTIVITY Vowel Team Clip Cards from Fairy Poppins (includes diphthongs)

PLAY Printable Change game from Adrian Bruce (OA/OW & IE/IGH), Long A Train game & Long E Get the Sheep to the Jeep game from themeasuredmom. Long O Oh no! Toad! game from Fun in 1st with Ms B.

AIAYgame

From the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers: Long A board game with AI & AY,  Long I Oh my! A fly! game & Long U Goose on the Loose game

Bossy R

Bossy R can change CAT into CART! Bossy R likes to be in charge, that is just how they roll. An R behind any vowel changes the sound.

The bird ate corn in the barn. It was her turn. Notice that ER, IR, and UR all have the same sound.

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at the Bossy R tutorial at Wakelet. WATCH Bossy R playlist at PhonicsPow Youtube Channel

Some online games require flash, which is no longer supported after 12/31/2020. Learn more at The End of Flash

LISTEN and play Bossy R words at Quizlet

SORT Bossy R flashcards from Lanternfish ESL with a: Bossy R Handout from mes-english.com as a sort mat.

READ Bossy R sentences from stickyball.net and r-controlled vowels Fluency Passages from razzledazzleclassroom. READ the book: “Bert’s Super Circus” by Lisa Charlesworth (Scholastic Phonics Tales)

PLAY Printable Go Fish game from themeasuredmom (6 pages, 9 per page, color)

birdinthedirt

Bossy R word sort and game, and Bossy R and Consonant Digraph Soccer Sort Game at the Super Tutor Tools Store at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Bossy R with Consonant Digraphs

Some words with Bossy R vowels also have a consonant digraph. Practice these words with activities at Shark Chart!

Bossy R Variations

Bossy R can vary sometimes. When Bossy R meets Silent e, Silent e wins sometimes: words with -are can say long a, Examples: care, share, flare. -ire can say long i, Examples: fire, tire, wire. But notice that OR wins: adore, bore, shore, snore & UR wins: nature, picture, treasure.

An e before ar can have many different sounds: long e (hear), “er”(learn), “air” (pear), & “ar” (heart)

Schwa Bossy R and Silent e vs. Bossy R at Teachers Pay Teachers.

 

Silent e

A letter e at the end of a word is silent and makes the vowel long. A vowel that is long says it’s name. Two E’s  are like twins and often stick together, as in tree, so the e may not always be at the end, like in seed. With the other vowels the silent e at the end is often separated by a consonant. Together or apart, Silent e often works just the same. (although sometimes ie makes a long E sound (see Vowels That Vary), and o_e can make a short U sound. (some, gloves)

SilentE3

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at a Silent e tutorial at Wakelet.

Silente

WATCH more videos from Kids vs Phonics: A_E (2:11), EE (1:27), E_E (1:24) I_E (1:42), IE (1:47), O_E (2:17), U_E (1:56), UE (1:50)and at the Silent e playlist at PhonicsPow Youtube channel

Some online games require flash, which is no longer supported after 12/31/2020. Learn more at The End of Flash.

LISTEN and play at Quizlet

More Silent e Resources:

READ Long A sentences (plus all long vowels) from stickyball.net and BOOKS: “Nice Mice in the Rice” by Brian P Cleary “Here Comes Silent e!” by Anna Hays

SpaceRaceGame

PLAY printable games: The Silent E Freebie Set includes one of each type of resource from several different sets, all about Silent e. You get the Silent e information from the Phonics Fun Folders set, a game board from the Phonics Patterns Game Board Set, a page from the Spot and Dot Phonics Patterns set, and a Soccer Sort Game. (Soccer Sort Games are sold separately at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers). The Bee Hive Silent e game is also available at the Super Tutor Tools store.

In some words, Defender D can stop silent e from making the vowel long. (like in a “badge” and “bridge”) WATCH -dge strategy from Sue’s Strategies. The letter c makes the soft /s/ sound in the word families -ace and -ice, and the letter g makes that soft /j/ sound in Defender D words, so this is a good time to introduce hard or soft c and g.

Some love gloves: some words with the letter o that you might expect to have a long vowel sound do not. Instead, they make the sound of “uh” because of schwa. A few more silent e exception words are have and give, which make the short sound.

There are more ways that vowels can be long.

Word Families

Word families are words that have the same endings, and therefore rhyme. With beginning readers, practice with word families that have a short vowel, and introduce word families with more advanced vowel patterns as they are learned.

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at a Word Families tutorial at Wakelet. Some online games require flash, which is no longer supported after 12/31/2020. Learn more at The End of FlashYoutube playlists for word families by Little Fox and ChorsiMedia (many short vowels, some others)

WordFamilyCards

Word Family Cards are modified from margedteachingposters for easier printing. (22 cards, 6 pages) Cut the end off of an envelope and slide the clue picture out. Students can make as many words with the same ending as they can think of, then slide the words out to see if they thought of all of them.

The Word Family Picture sorts from flyingintolearning.com can be used to provide pictures with clues. I like to use these with the Word Family Treasure game below.

 

WordFamilyLadderBlank

PLAY Printables: Word Family Treasure game (free!) and Roll a Word Family from the Super Tutor Tools Store at Teachers Pay Teachers

More Word Family Resources:

wordfamilies

When learning more about different phonics patterns later, it can be helpful to intoduce them with word families that illustrate the pattern.

WordFamilyTable2

Short Vowels

ShortVowels

CVC Words like DOG and CAT that have a Consonant Vowel Consonant pattern often make the short vowel sound.

CVCWordRoller

CVC Word Roller – free at the Super Tutor Tools store at Teachers Pay Teachers, CVC Word Machine from homemade-preschool.com.

CVC Cards. Use CVC cards to sort by vowel sound, or for activities for phonological and phonemic awareness.

Closed Syllables. Closed syllables often make the short vowel sound. When a vowel is followed by at least one consonant, it is a closed syllable. An exception sometimes occur when the letters i and o are followed by two consonants. (find and lift the lost gold) A can make a short O sound sometimes. (watch the dog play squash with a ball)

Short i and e. It can be challenging to hear the difference between short i and e. LISTEN to contrast words, WATCH Short E & I Sounds from allaboutlearningpress (2:49) and practice with Short I & E picture sort from tchrgrl.

Word Families. Practice with word families that have short vowels.

Short Vowel Variations. The final consonant of some words with short vowels can double. Learn more about Flossy Words and more short vowel variations.

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at a Short Vowels tutorial at Wakelet. Some online games require flash, which is no longer supported after 12/31/2020. Learn more at The End of Flash

PLAY more online games: Sliding Beaver and  Hanging Monkeys from literactive (Flash). Cloudy DayVowel Popper and Vowel Ace at roomrecess.com (choose short vowels)

READ short vowel sentences from stickyball.net, Beginner Books from Progressive Phonics. READ Books: “Gran on a Fan” by Kevin Bolger, “The Bug in the Jug Wants a Hug” by Brian P Cleary.

cvcwords

PLAY Printables at the ABCs of games for reading.

ShortLongVowelChart

Short and Long Vowels. Review the difference between short and long vowels. Use the short or long picture sorts from First Grade a la Carte or a pdf (source unknown) of Short & Long Pictures & Words. The Short and Long Vowel Chart is free at the Super Tutor Tool store.

WATCH videos and PLAY onlines games at the Short or Long Vowels Wakelet Tutorial.