More Long Vowel/Short Vowel Lesson Plans January 15 2010

Here are some fun and interesting ways to teach vowel lessons.

This article expands upon ideas in the previous  Long Vowel/Short Vowel Lesson Plans article.

Differentiating Instruction and Incorporating Multiple Subjects

An important skill for teachers to develop is the ability to teach multiple subjects at once, while only teaching what the students don't already know. Assessments, such as running records are necessary tools for differentiating instruction. In addition, while teaching the students about vowels, we can incorporate other subjects, such as history or science. The Wheel of Fortune Game can be used in this way.

1. Wheel of Fortune Game

Fill in the missing vowels to get the answer.

"_   h_v_   _   dr_ _ m."  -Martin Luther King Jr.

The above phrase by Martin Luther King, Jr. can be used as a tool to generate discussion about his speech that day. What else did he say? What did it mean to the world at the time? Has his dream come true?

Create your own Wheel of Fortune game. Choose a phrase or word the students are currently studying during math, science, history or social studies.

Teachers, this one is for you.

"W_   c_n   b_   th_   t_ _ch_rs   wh_   h_lp   m_k_   dr_ _ ms   r_ _ l_ty."

2. Short Vowel Sound Creature Song

Here's a free, printable Short Vowel Sound Creature song.

  1. Make an overhead transparency, copy onto large poster paper or write the song onto the white board.
  2. The teacher sings the song first.
  3. Students sing the song with the teacher.
  4. Divide the students into small groups. As the creature is described, ecourage the students to act out/dance the creature named.

Extension Activities:

  • Students create mini-books of the song. Fold 3 pieces of white copy paper inside one piece of construction paper. Staple the book together. Each student writes the title and their name on the cover and title page. Inside the book, each student writes the sentence and draws a picture of the sentence. It can be helpful to have the students circle the short vowel sounds indicated.
  • Each child can make a sock puppet or paper bag puppet of an animal. Create a puppet theatre and have a show. It can be useful to keep the puppet theatre, song and puppets accessible as a literacy work station activity.
  • Posting nursery rhymes next to the puppet theatre with additional puppets can encourage reading and dramatic play.
  • Use this song as a model to create a long vowel creature song.

3. Kay the Angelfish Pencil Pal and Sea Life Worksheet

Angelfish Kay is taped to a pencil. Students pretend that she is swimming in the sea as they whisper the name of each sea creature. If the word has a long vowel sound they circle the word. (e.g. Whales has the long vowel sound a. Circle the whales.)

Answer Key for the Sea Life Worksheet:

Circled Words - whales, sea horses, sea snail, sea turtles

Not Circled Words - crab, dolphin, starfish, fish

Differentiate Instruction - Students can create their own sea creatures, too. If we know that a student finds the long vowel sound a challenging, we can ask him to create a sea creature with a long vowel sound a, such as a sea snake. 

Extension Activity and Differentiating Instruction:

Students will enjoy drawing and naming at least three sea creatures of their own. If they are words with long vowel sounds they will circle the words.

4. Word World Episodes and Games

Word World has fun and educational games and episodes to expand upon lessons. Episode 204 B, Sheeps First Bike Ride, teaches children how to spell the word "bike" (long vowel i), as well as teaching children that perseverance will prevail.  Small groups of students in need of understanding the long vowel i may enjoy viewing this episode and following it up with Literacy Task Cards.

5. Literacy Task Cards

It's most helpful to use assessments in order to determine which cards each particular student needs. After assessing the students' needs, students in need of TRC's Literacy Task Card # 22, Vowel Pattern/Spelling Pattern (i_e, ie) will work with picture and word cards, which include the words bike, bite, kite, pie, tie. Literacy Task Cards are a helpful tool to use while teaching students about long and short vowels.

More about Teaching Vowels

Here are additional free resources to use while teaching your students about long vowels/short vowels.

Long Vowel/Short Vowel Lesson Plans

Three Easy Activities/Games for Long Vowel/Short Vowel Practice

Literacy Task Cards (Includes a video showing how to use the cards while teaching small groups of children.)