More Ways Vowels Can Be Long

Vowels can be long with the Silent e pattern, Vowel TeamsOpen Syllables, and Tricky Y. Two more important long vowel patterns to learn are: i and o can be long when followed by two consonants, and open syllables in two syllable words with one middle consonant. These can be challenging, because in both cases, words may have either the long or short sound.

i and o can be long when followed by two consonants

If you have lŏst a gĭft you know that this is not always so. A strategy for reading is to try it with a long vowel sound to see if it is a recognizable word. If it is not, try it with the short vowel sound.

Strategy: To fīnd lŏng, pĭck bōth

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.

PLAY online: Wild Old Words from learningonlinerocks

Open and Closed Syllables in Two Syllable Words with one middle consonant

TigerCamelWords

The first syllable in two syllable words with one middle consonant can be either long or short, so it is important to understand and practice these words too. Since more are long (60%) than short (40%), try the long vowel sound first to see if it is a recognizable word. If it is not, try it with the short vowel sound.

Strategy: Bē/gin with long, vĭ/sit short

The Tiger & Camel Words Soccer Game is available at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Vowels That Vary

One of the trickiest things about the English language is that vowels may sometimes look the same and make different sounds.

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. 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

Please note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Firefox browser.

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

Diphthongs

Diphthongs

When two letters work together to make one vowel sound that is new, they may be called Diphthongs. These vowel combinations are not long or short (mostly), but make completely different vowel sounds. The letters OI and OY make the same sound. OU and OW do too sometimes, although they can make other sounds. These vowel combinations make sounds with mouth positions that change, the definition of a diphthong. The letters AU and AW make the same sound as a short o. The letters OO can make two different sounds: a short oo like in “foot” or a sound like a long u in “boot.”

Digraphs are two letters that make one sound, and diphthongs may be called vowel digraphs. Vowel teams that often make a long vowel sound are also vowel digraphs, so it is helpful to learn these separately. When Diphthongs are learned first, many of the remaining vowel combinations are long, although this is not always true and there are many variations to learn.

Exceptions: OW can also make a Long O sound in some words (like know and blow). Oh, Those OUGH Words explores some of the variations of OU. It can say OR like in pour, or OO like in soup, and different sounds when followed by the letters ld or gh.

WATCH videos and PLAY online games at the Diphthong tutorial at Wakelet

Please note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Firefox browser.

WATCH more videos at Kids vs Phonics:  OO (1:21), OO Long (1:44),  OI (1:33), OY 1:40), OI & OY (3:13), OU (1:36), OW (1:54).

LISTEN and play: Diphthong words at Quizlet

 PLAY Printables: OI/OY Piggy Diphthong game from Oh My Little Classity Class, Gurgling Gargoyle game from Adrian Bruce

More Resources:

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

Please note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Mozilla Firefox browser.

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

Please note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Mozilla Firefox browser.

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

There are more ways that vowels can be long.