We are hard at work with  Magic ‘E’ words with my first grader. As she has been a very reluctant reader, we are taking the learning process very slowly. She is beginning to build confidence as we review, review, review the basic concepts. This vowel sorting activity for long and short vowel sounds is a perfect review activity for her.

Long and short vowel sorting activity

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the Long Vowel Short Vowel Sorting Activity

  • Paper
  • Marker
  • Paper Bags

Yes, I know I have three bags in the picture… I thought I was going to do something else, then changed my mind…lol! Just pretend bag #3 is not there!

Okay, so side note, I was going to review all magic ‘e’ words, but amazingly some of the letters don’t really have enough words to merit reviewing. Like long ‘e’…. That led me down another path, so that we could still review magic ‘e’, but have enough words to actually do something.

So we compared long ‘a’ to short ‘a’ with magic ‘e’ words and CvC/CCvC words.

On approximately half of the cards I wrote words that had an ‘a’ in the middle and magic ‘e’ at the end. On the other half of the cards I wrote short ‘a’ words.

Really complex, I know…

Basically, I included words that she would be able to decode herself while still providing challenges such as two similar words like cap and cape.

After you’ve written your words, take two cards and label the paper bags. This is a good opportunity to teach the kids what the ‘long’ and ‘short’ symbols are.

Then, set the bags and the word cards on the table and let the kids sort the cards.

If you’ve been around here before, you know that I’m a really big fan of activities that do not require lots of time to prepare. I homeschool four kids and we’re currently traveling full-time, so I don’t have a lot of time to spare.

This activity took me less than 10 minutes from start to finish including taking pretty pictures to show you.

Follow me on Pinterest for more fun, low-prep reading ideas!

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Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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