Long vowel sound spelling patterns are quite difficult for students to learn. First they must understand that more than one letter can be used to represent one sound and then learn the various ways that the sound can be represented in print. For example, there are 4 common ways the sound /a/ can be spelled: “a” as in “acorn”, “a_e” as in “gate”, “ai” as in “rain” and “ay” as in “day”. Students must also learn when to use the spelling pattern for each sound. For example, the “ay” spelling pattern for the /a/ sound most often occurs at the end of words while the “ai” spelling pattern never occurs at the beginning or end of words. Whoa! kind of confusing, huh? No wonder it’s quite challenging for our emerging readers and writers. The best way for students to learn the most common spelling patterns for long vowel sounds is through sorting activities. This way they can begin to see the various representations of the vowel as well as when to use the pattern.
I’ve included a few resources for teaching the spelling patterns for long vowel sounds. Having a word list often comes in handy. You can make your own sorting activities on index cards or just use them for spelling practice during small group instruction. If you’d like to download the word list in one download just click the following link: Long Vowel Sounds Word Lists
Click the following link to download the word list for the long a vowel sounds Long a Vowel Sound Word List
Click the following link to download the word list for the long e sound Long e Vowel Sound Word List
Click the following link to download the word list for the long i sound Long i Vowel Sound Word List
Click the following link to download the word list for the long o sound Long o Vowel Sound Word List
Click the following link to download the word list for the long u sound Long u Vowel Sound Word
Here’s an activity already printed with a sorting mat containing the common spelling patterns for each vowel. When you download this activity you will receive the sorting mats for each vowel and over 400 word cards. Words cards have been color-coded for each vowel for the sake of organization. There are also two set of word cards- one set with the spelling pattern printed in red and the other without the pattern highlighted. This allows for differentiation. This activity is available in my online Teachers Pay Teachers store. Just click the link below.
Here’s another resource that you may find helpful for teaching long vowel sounds. The file folder activities are great for independent centers.