Vowel Team Sort

Activity for ages 5 to 7.

This seashell vowel team sort is a motivating way for students to practice their long vowel sounds this summer!

Scroll below to grab the freebie and then jump over and snag some Summer Goal Writing Prompts for even more summer fun.


Getting Ready

The prep for this activity was very simple.

I printed the vowel team pails and the 24 word cards onto cardstock for durability.

Then, I cut out each of the pails and the word cards using my paper cutter.

Vowel Team Sorting

To introduce the activity I started by reviewing the rule: “When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.”

Then I had the kids help me remember the correct sound each vowel pair made on the buckets.

After the quick review, I placed each of the five vowel team pails at the bottom of the table and all of the word cards face down on the table.

The first student picked up a card and looked at the picture.

She carefully read the word out loud: nail.

After listening to the sound of the word and the spelling, she correctly placed the nail seashell card into the ai vowel team bucket.

Going around the table, each student took a turn to draw a card, read the word out loud and place the seashell on the correct bucket.

We repeated this process until all of the cards were sorted into the correct pails.

Extension Activity

Once the kids had correctly read the word and had practiced sorting the cards into the correct bucket with no mistakes, I pulled out the second set of cards included in the freebie to stretch the activity for students who were ready for a challenge.

Since the second set of picture cards did not have the name of the object written on them, they were a great way to practice sounding out the word, rather than reading and matching the vowel team letters.

Grab Your Download

If you’re ready to have some beach-themed fun practicing vowel teams, scroll down and click the blue download button. Then make sure to hop over and grab our Long Vowel Clip Cards for even more reading fun!

Practice reading long vowel words with these free long vowel clip cards!


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  1. Sherry Sterling

    Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for the long vowel sort…my students will love it. I am so happy to have found your blog! You have amazing ideas…very cute and engaging for 1st graders! THANK YOU!!!! 🙂

    • Ashley

      Thank you so much Sherry!
      We’re thrilled you’re enjoying it!
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador



  1. Beach Bucket Digraph Sort - Playdough To Plato - […] below to grab your freebie and then hop over and snag our Beach Vowel Team Sorts for more […]

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Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!

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