8 Hands-On Activities for Teaching Long and Short Vowel Sounds

Learning vowel sounds can be so tricky for our young readers.  Not only do several of the short vowel sounds sound similar (for example, the short /a/ and short /e/ sounds), but vowels have two sounds– a short sound and a long sound.  Teaching students that vowels have two sounds is typically introduced early in first grade.  The explanation is actually quite simple.  We just tell students that when a vowel has a long sound, it says its name.  Having this poster handy while teaching this concept can be helpful.  Just click the link below for a quick and easy download.


 Just click the following link to download this freebie Long and Short Vowels Poster

For our little first graders, I created 8 hands-on activities for teaching  discrimination between long and short vowel sounds.  Several of the activities were designed for the direct teaching of the concept in either whole or small group instruction and others for added practice during independent literacy centers.  Here are 3 of my favorites:

For introducing the concept, the long and short vowel bone sorting activity is ideal.  Just place the dog dishes on the table, have the students name the picture on the bone and then place the bone in the correct dog dish.  This activity contains 60 bones with pictures of long and short vowel sounds.

Long Short VS sort

I really love the self-checking feature of Long or Short activity using Hot Dots.  This activity contains 30 colorful cards that can be used with either the Hot Dots pen or with a golf tee (punch a hole and circle the correct answer on the back).  If using the Hot Dots pen, the student chooses their answer by placing the tip of the pen on the circle (dots are either hot or cold).  If the answer is correct, a green light will appear on the top of the pen as well as applauding will sound.  You can purchase the pen and the hot/cold dots from Amazon.  This pen can be used for a variety of activities!


The flip chute is another one of my favorite hands-on activities that can be used to practice most any skill.  They are particularly ideal for independent literacy centers.  Flip chutes are made using orange juice cartons.  The skill cards can be made using index cards cut into 2 inch squares.  For this activity, I created the cards for you (just print double-sided) as well as dressed up the carton with the dog-themed templates.  Directions for creating your own flip chute are contained in the Long/Short Vowel Sound Bundle.  You can also download the directions and basic templates for the flip chute by clicking the link below.


For directions on how to make your own flip chute, just click the following link Flip Chute Directions

Be sure to check out the other five activities contained in the Doggone Fun! with Long and Short Vowels in my online Teachers Pay Teachers store or through the Make, Take & Teach website.




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