This playful Christmas vowel sort is a playful way to review long and short vowels! Helping students HEAR the difference between long and short vowels will help them SPELL the difference later.

Snag your activity and then hop over and grab our awesome Vowel Team Centers in our shop!

Christmas Vowel Sort

Getting Ready

To prep, I printed the Christmas Lights Vowel Sort (below) on cardstock and laminated it for extra durability. I wanted to be able to use the center year after year.

Once I laminated the pages, I cut along the lines to separate the puzzles.

I found it easiest to cut out each puzzle in its completed shape and then go back and cut the individual parts later.

Christmas Vowel Sort

Once everything was cut out, I placed the pieces in a pencil box so students would have all of the parts in one place when it was their turn to access the center.

Christmas Vowel Sort

The Christmas Vowel Sort (below) contained 10 different puzzles, covering all of the short and long vowels for A, E, I, O and U.

Each puzzle had three pictures: the Christmas tree let students know what vowel they were focusing on and whether or not it was long or short…

The other two pictures were Christmas lights containing a different picture with the corresponding vowel.

Christmas Vowel Sort

To start, I gave a small group of students one of the vowel cards and had them sort through all of the light puzzle pieces, looking for the two pictures that had the matching vowels.

To keep it manageable, I only gave them the short vowel light bulbs and saved the long vowel cards for another day.

The short U Christmas tree was paired with the “bug” and “duck”…

The short E had “nest” and “web”…

Christmas Vowel Sort

Meanwhile, another group of kids was ready to work on short and long vowels at the same time!

We laid out all ten vowel Christmas trees (five long and five short) on the floor.

Students picked up the lights one at a time and matched it to the correct puzzle.

They knew that they were finished when all of the puzzles had three pieces.

Christmas Vowel Sort


If you have students that you think may become overwhelmed with having all ten puzzles out at once, start small! You can have them sort only the long vowel puzzle and short vowel puzzle for a given letter.

If students can handle more than that, give them only the short vowel puzzles or long vowel puzzles. As they master those, add more to the center! We want to set our students up for success and not frustrate them in the process.

Download Your Christmas Light Vowel Sort

Are you ready to implement this literacy center into your classroom too? Click the blue download button below and then hop over and  grab our Vowel Team Centers for more vowel fun!

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  1. Ooooh I love love love all your activities. Thank you so much for all the freebies, they are AMAZING as I live in Colombia and I am homeschooling very unexpectedly this year due to quarantine restrictions here. I have a question! I cannot upload the Christmas Light Vowel Sort. It says page not found. Could you please help me?

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