R Controlled Vowels

When a vowel is followed by an r, the r changes the sound that the vowel makes.  The vowel is called an r-controlled vowel.  Sometimes teachers refer to the “r” as the “bossy r” because the r “bosses” the vowel to make a new sound.  When the “a” is followed by r, it makes the sound you hear in “bar” or “car”.  When the “o” is followed by the r, it makes the sound you hear in the word “corn”.  The “ir”, “ur” and “er” make the same sound /er/ as in the words “bird”, “fur” and “her”.   It is important to teach students to recognize and practice words containing r-controlled vowels.

Here’s a little freebie for practicing r-controlled vowels.  I put all the r-controlled vowels on the stick, but you can easily differentiate the activity by writing only 2 or 3 vowels on the stick.

Here are the directions for making this activity:

1)  Print the pdf on cardstock and cut out each circle.

Click the following link to download your FREE r-controlled vowel pics R Controlled Vowel Sticks

2)  With a hot glue gun, glue the picture on the end of a large craft stick.


3)  Write the r-controlled vowels on the stick using a black Sharpie marker.  Remember you can differentiate by choosing how many r-controlled vowels are on the stick.


4)  Flip the stick over and place a blue dot behind the correct r-controlled vowel.  This serves as a self-checking feature for this activity.


5)  Optional:  I place a small foam star (purchased at Office Max in the education section) on the end of a clothespin.


For this activity, the students name the picture on the stick and then clips the clothespin on the r-controlled vowel they think is in the word.  To see if their choice is correct, they turn the stick over and if the clothespin is covering the dot, they are correct.

Here are a few other Make, Take & Teach r-controlled vowel activities.

Click HERE to download this activity from my TpT store.

Click HERE to download this activity from my TpT store.

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