Lesson 4: Long Vowels
This lesson provides practice identifying words with long-vowel
sounds and experience with sound-spellings.
Grade Level: K2
- Recognize long vowel sounds by reading and listening to a
story that highlights select words
- Identify words with long vowel sounds
- Construct a story by actively choosing words
- Use picture clues to aid comprehension
- Match words with the same vowel sounds
- Clifford Interactive Storybook Emily
Elizabeth Goes to School
- Clifford Storybook activity Concentration
- Computer(s) with Internet access
- Optional: LCD or overhead projector to display storybook
- Optional: headphones
- Bookmark the Interactive Clifford Storybooks on the computers
students will use.
- NOTE: If students have limited access to computers, print
activity screens and make transparency copies to post on an
Step 1: Select a book to read to the class that features
words with long vowel sounds. Choose a book from one of the Clifford
phonics collections or classics such as Bringing the Rain to
Kapiti Plain, Clifford’s Puppy Days, The Bike Lesson, New
Shoes for Sylvia, or The Troll Music. See Recommended
Step 2: Explain to students how slight differences in a
word spelling can affect its vowel sound. Demonstrate this point
by listing on the chalkboard word pairs such as: rat/rate, bit/bite,
cot/coat, fed/feed, and cub/cube. Have volunteers read each word
pair, noting the different vowel sounds each word in the pair
makes. Guide them to recognize that just one added letter changed the vowel sound from short to long. Point
out that sometimes the letter is added to the end, like the e
in bite. And other times, it’s a letter in
the middle like a in read. Repeat the vowel sounds
in each pair and identify them as having a short or long vowel
Step 3: Take students to the first page of Emily
Elizabeth Goes to School. Read the first two sentences and
model for students how to click the speaker icon next to them to hear
them read aloud.
Step 4: Students can click to hear the third sentence read
aloud. Explain to students that they need to choose one of the
three words in the circles to put into the story. They can click
each word to hear the choices and see an illustration. Have students
identify the vowels in each word choice and the vowel sound these
letters make. Did they recognize that all three words have the
ea spelling pattern? Were they able to identify the long /e/ sound?
What other words produce the long /e/ sound? Record their responses
on the chalkboard. Discuss other letter combinations that can
produce the same sound, such as ee in feed.
Step 5: Repeat the same process with the following story
pages. Help students recognize that all three word choices on
a page have the same long vowel sound, but that the words have
different spelling patterns (e.g., silent e at the end of space
and ai in the middle of rain and snails).
For each storybook page, compare and contrast the spelling patterns
in the word choices. Keep a list of all the word choices students
have in the storybook as well as any new words they suggested
with similar spelling patterns.
Step 1: Review the list of words created the day before.
Step 2: Working in pairs, have students go to the game
Students can click the speaker icon to hear the instructions.
If necessary, model how to play the game by clicking the cards
to make a match of words with the same long vowel sound.
Step 3: As they play the game, encourage students to identify
the spelling patterns of the words that have the same vowel sounds.
Have them think of other words that have those sounds and how
they are spelled.
Assessment & Evaluation
Were students able to identify the long vowel sound for the word
choices on each storybook page? Did they successfully identify
other words with the same short vowel sound?
Were students able to identify the long vowel sounds for objects
in Concentration? Could they match words with the same long vowel
To further assess knowledge of long vowel sound-spellings:
- Create a contrast word sheet (e.g., cut/cute, rod/road, red/read).
- Individually, test students as they read the words on the
sheet. Note sound-spellings they struggle with by marking a
photocopy of the sheet as each student reads. Provide additional
instruction on the sound-spellings students struggle with.
- Assign small groups a long vowel sound. Have the groups search
for objects in the classroom whose names contain the long vowel
sound and record their finding on a sheet of paper. Have groups
share their findings with the rest of the class.
- Using chalk, create several large hopscotch boards on a paved
area of your playground (or use masking tape on the classroom
floor). In each section, write a long vowel sound-spelling (examples:
ay, ee, ea, oi) you want to review. Then read aloud a word.
Students hop to the space on the hopscotch board that contains
that word’s vowel sound and spelling.
- Provide students with a set of word cards. Have them sort
the word cards first in any way they choose, such as word length
or beginning consonant. Then suggest they sort the words by
long vowel sound and/or long vowel sound-spelling. Be sure that
the words you provide can be sorted in more than one way. For
example, use words containing the long /a/ sound spelled a_e,
ai, and ay.