11 Hands-On Activities for Teaching ir/er/ur!

ir er ur r-controlled vowels

When teaching a phonics skill it’s often helpful to use a key word and picture to help the students remember the sound to the letter combinations. For the ir/er/ur phonics bundle, my fabulous artist created “bird” themed borders and game boards and they turned out absolutely adorable! This phonics bundle contains 11 hands-on activities for teaching and practicing the ir/er/ur r-controlled vowels. The activities are great for either small group instruction or for activities within your independent literacy centers. Here’s a quick peek at several of the activities in this bundle.

Of course, when teaching a skill, it’s always helpful to have a word list on hand.  Providing your students with a white board and then giving them words to spell using ir, er or ur is a great activity to wrap up any session. If you’d like just the word list just click on the link below.

r controlled vowels word list

Just click the following link to download the word list for free! ir ur er Word List

The ir/er/ur Phonics Bundle also contains an anchor chart to use when introducing these r-controlled vowels. You can keep this posted throughout the days of teaching this skill and then after for the students to reference during their writing time. You can also download this chart by clicking the link below.

r controlled vowels

Just click the following link to download the free anchor chart! ir ur er Anchor Chart

So now for the activities…. One of my  favorite activities in this bundle is the Climb & Slide activity. It’s played just like the old game of Chutes and Ladders, but just with a phonics-twist to it. When you download this bundle you’ll received two Climb & Slide game boards. There’s a little bit of assembly, but once laminate, you’ll have an activity that will last for years!

r controlled vowels

There are also two classic game boards in this ir/er/ur Phonics Bundle.  Just as with the Climb & Slide game boards, you’ll need to glue the templates on the file folder and laminate. Since I create quite a few game boards I order plastic spinners (I included the link in the download), but using a paperclip and a pencil works great as a spinner too.  The Climb & Slide and the game boards are ideal activities for independent centers.

r controlled vowels

No bundle would be complete without the classic game of Bingo. There are five bingo cards in this bundle making it perfect for a small group activity.

r controlled vowels

I really like activities that have the students use the phonics skill in writing. I was once told that a student has not yet mastered a phonics skill until you see that he/she can use it correctly in writing. That’s why I incorporated a writing component in three of the activities in this bundle.  There are five differentiate Dry Erase Phonics templates (first set contains the easier words). This activity has a self-checking feature which makes it great for independent practice. Students simply write “ir”, “er” or “ur”  using a dry erase marker in the blank for each word and then, when done, turns the card over and checks their responses. Using a velcro dot to adhere the card to each template works perfectly and keeps each card with it’s corresponding template. Because the templates are laminated, they can be used over and over again.

r controlled vowels

The other activity that incorporates a writing component is the Write the Word activity. Again, because of the self-checking feature, it’s ideal for independent centers. There are four Write the Word templates in this bundle. For this activity, the students order the word cards and then writes the word under the correct column. When done, they turn over the answer key and check their responses. I placed the cards in a baggie and clipped it to the template with a brass clasp and then used the velcro dot again to adhere the answer key.

r controlled vowels

The game of Bump! is a fun game for two students. There are five Bump boards in this bundle and the directions for playing the game are printed on the back of each game board as with each of the activities.  For this game, students take turns rolling a die, reading the words and trying to be the first player to get rid of all their chips. The fun part comes in when students “bump” their opponent off a space and locks the space with two of their colored chips.

r controlled vowels

The word sorting activity is helpful when introducing the phonics skill during small group instruction. A writing component was added to this activity, however, the full word is written on the back so if you choose not to have your students write the words you can use the other side of the card.

r controlled vowels

Just word cards are included for word reading practice. Place them on a 1″ loose leaf ring and you can easily grab them anytime!

r controlled vowels

Five Race to the Top game boards are included in the ir/er/ur Phonics Bundle.  Your students will need dice, chips and the game boards. The first to complete a row wins the game. Super simple, but the students love it!

r controlled vowels

Another super simple and fun activity is the 4-In-A-Row game. Students play in partners each having their own colored chips. They read the word and then place their chip on the square. The first player to have four of their chips in a row wins the game.

r controlled vowels

The best part of the phonics bundles is that they were designed to fit in these 15″ x 11 1/2″ x 3 1/4″ Sterilite containers that I picked up at Walmart.  Storage space in classrooms is always at a premium and I wanted to be sure there was a practical way to store all the activities.

r controlled vowels

r controlled vowels

The ir/er/ur Phonics Bundle can be found in my online Teachers Pay Teachers store or through the Make, Take & Teach website.

If you like the ir/er/ur Phonics Bundle you may be interested in our other bundles designed to teach targeted phonics skills. I’ve included a link to each bundle below. They all fit in those Sterilite containers for easy stacking and storage!

phonics activities

ai/ay Phonics Boxee/ea/y Phonics Boxie/igh/y Phonics Boxoa/ow/oe Phonics Boxew/oo/ue/ui Phonics Boxou/ow Phonics Box, au/aw Phonics Boxor/ore/oar Phonics BoxWild Old Words Phonics Boxoi/oy Phonics Box

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