As educators, we know the value of practicing short vowel sounds: It aids in rapid recall, increases accuracy in reading and spelling, and improves reading speed and fluency.
Here is a simple, effective, and quick activity that students love. It is a great alternative to a standard Vowel Intensive and can be easily modified to focus on skills other than vowels.
Make it Multisensory …
Give each student two index cards or small pieces of paper. Choose two vowels (or other skills to focus on). In this example, we’ll use A and E. Have the students write an “A” on one card and an “E” on the other. Each student may put a small star on the card that they think will “win”.
The teacher calls out short A and short E sounds or words. Each time a sound is called out, the students draw a body part on the corresponding card. The first vowel card to have a full stick person drawn on it “wins”.
During the winter months, instead of drawing a stick person, draw a snowman.
- For older students, give words that focus on a spelling rule such as -tch and ch words. Having a word list ready for this alternative may be helpful.
- Try this activity with commonly confused words such as “for” and “from”.
- Use three cards and focus on correct usage of words such as “there”, “their”, and “they’re”. Having a list of sentences ready for this alternative may be helpful.
Written by Tammi Brandon, M.Ed., CDP
Tammi Brandon is a Master Instructor and Education Consultant with Brainspring Educator Academy.
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