Multisensory Monday- Short Vowels Book

Multisensory Monday- Short Vowels Book

Posted by Samantha Brooks on 5th Nov 2017

Do you have students who require a great deal of teaching time due to poor reading skills?

Mastery of short vowel sounds can be very problematic and require continuous review, which can bring reading progress to a halt. This Short Vowel Book can be used as a multisensory learning tool to support student memory and automatic recall through the use of visual cues and hand motions.  Not only will this help trigger correct vowel sounds, but it will help increase student engagement in a fun way!  The Short Vowel Book is written using the key words from the Phonics First® Curriculum.  This activity only takes a few minutes to create and can be used for large group, small group and individual settings.  Once students recognize most of the consonant sounds, they need to learn short vowel sounds to automaticity, so they can blend these sounds to read even simple CVC words. You will be amazed at how fast your students learn these tricky vowel sounds if you use this book!

How do I use this book?

This book is designed in an easy print, then fold format for the teacher to read from. It is not recommended that the student have a copy of the book during the activity because they will be engaging in the hand gestures while the teacher reads the chants. Download the Student Vowel Desk Tents and laminate for each student to stand on their desk for eye level viewing.  Manipulative objects for each vowel sound are then placed in front of the corresponding vowel in front of the Student Vowel Desk Tent.

Although using objects is optional, they do intensify the multisensory engagement for optimal learning!


DOWNLOAD Short Vowel Chants for Teacher

How to Fold the Short Vowel Book

DOWNLOAD Student Short Vowel Desk Tents

Student Objects for the short vowel sounds:

Short a: small apple ( taking a bite)

Short e: small foam hand on a Popsicle stick (holding hand on stick by ear like you are having trouble hearing)

Short i: a small square of rough paper (rubbing it up and down your arm like it itches)

Short o: small microphone-cotton ball on Popsicle stick; put silver glitter on cotton ball to make it look real ( hold up microphone to mouth like you are singing)

Short u: reading monster or witch finger that slips over finger (tap chin 3 times saying short u sound for each tap like you are trying to remember something)


The teacher reads the story line of the book in a chant-style rhyme as the students interact using the hand motions with the objects and saying the repetitive vowel sounds to lock into long term memory for automatic recall.

For example, the teacher reads the story line: “Apples, Apples take a bite”

Students respond /a/ /a/ /a/ (short sound) (while gesturing taking a bite from the apple)

Teacher continues”They’re good for you both day and night”

Students respond /a/ /a/ /a/ (while gesturing taking a bite from the apple)

Teacher continues “It’s really amazing how something so sweet is good for me”

Students respond /a/ /a/ /a/(while gesturing taking a bite from the apple)

This should be used daily until students can identify short vowel sounds quickly and accurately in reading and spelling.


Samantha Brooks MSE,CDP

Samantha Brooks is an Instructor with Brainspring Educator Academy.