Activity for ages 6 to 8.
Long vowels are tricky! There are numerous ways to spell them out so it takes time and practice for kids to become confident. These long vowel clip cards are an easy and fun way to show long vowel words spelled in different ways. They’re great puzzlers for first and second graders.
To prepare, I printed the clip cards onto cardstock, cut to separate them and used a marker to put a small dot behind each correct answer so they’d be self-checking.
Then I grabbed some small clothespin pegs and a couple of big books that contained words with long vowels.
Long Vowels in Books
Before introducing the cards, we read through a couple of big books, trying to hear and see long vowels along the way.
When students heard a long vowel, they’d raise their hand and then, after finishing the sentence, we’d go back and look at how the word was spelled.
This was a good activity for helping kids intentionally focus on long vowels and see how much spelling variety there is.
Each child who picked a word wrote it on our butcher paper, writing it near words that used the same spelling pattern. By the time we were finished there were big clusters of words.
Long Vowel Clip Cards
When we were finished, I pulled out the clip card basket. We looked at a few of them together, sounding out each written word to see what they sounded like. Mostly, they sounded very much the same! It was a really great a-ha kind of moment… seeing how sounds work.
Of course, since the sounds are so similar, choosing the correct word comes from developing familiarity through lots of reading and writing, and knowing when each pattern is more likely to be found (for example ‘ew’ is commonly found at the end of a word such as in ‘flew’ and ‘blew’).
Although the back of each card had the answer in the form of a dot, our kids used the activity as a chance to work with dictionaries. If they had any doubt as to which word was correct, they tried to find it in their dictionaries. The follow up step was a simple way to extend the learning value of the cards.