Before a child can understand when to use a sound’s long sound or short sound, they have to be able to tell the difference between the long and short sounds. This is a simple thing to teach and practice.
You can use this Long and Short Vowel Sorting Activity from The Measured Mom!
Common ways to make a vowel say it’s “long sound” or “say it’s name:
- The Magic E Rule: When a vowel is followed by a consonant and then an E (V-C-E) as in kite or tape it will say it’s long sound. Teach your child this pattern by playing this Magic E Wand Game from Make Take Teach!
- I and O may say their long sound when followed by two consonants as in kind or old. However, this is not a hard and fast rule…more of just a common pattern. HERE is a list of words where I and O say the short sound after two consonants and HERE is a list of long I and O words.
- A, E, O, and U typically say their long sound if they are the last sound in a syllable as in navy, evil, go, and music. This is called the “open syllable” rule and is wonderfully explained HERE.
Here is a great list of long vowels organized by spelling pattern. from Make Take Teach. You can use this word list if you want to make your own games and don’t want to think of the practice words on your own!
Watch this video to learn all of the Long Vowels and Vowel Variants!
Next up is STEP 6:Additional Vowel Sounds