Long and short Vowel sounds
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Basics on the topic Long and short Vowel sounds
Long and Short Vowels
Have you noticed that some words use the same letters but different sounds? One of the reasons letters may sound different are long and short vowels. Let’s look at the example of the word banana.
|long vowel /A/
|short vowel /a/
Let’s learn more about rules for long and short vowels in kindergarten and examples of long and short vowels and their symbols through the following explanation.
Revision – Vowels
Let’s look at what vowels are. They are a special set of letters in the alphabet: A, E, I, O, and U. These letters can make two kinds of sounds: long sounds and short sounds. Here are some examples of vowels with examples:
Long Vowel Sounds
When a vowel is long, it says its alphabet name. It sounds exactly like the name we sing in the A, B, C’s! When teaching long and short vowels in kindergarten, it is important to practice examples of the vowel sounds. Here are examples of long vowel sounds:
A says ”A” like the word ape.
E says “E” like the word e-mail.
I says ”I” like the word ice.
O says “O” like the word open.
U says “U” like the word unicorn.
Short Vowel Sounds
When a vowel is followed by a non-vowel letter it makes a short sound. The vowel does not sound the same as when we say it in the alphabet. The short vowel makes a shorter sound. Here are examples of short vowel sounds:
A says “ah” like the word add.
E says “eh” like the word egg.
I says ”ĭh” like the word igloo.
O says “oh” like the world olive.
U says “uh” like the word umbrella.
There are many words that have short and long vowels in English. These are just a few examples of the first sounds vowels can make.
Identify Short and Long Vowels
Now we know the difference between long and short vowels, we can practice on one syllable words with long and short vowels.
We can practice with the word ate. Is there a long A or a short one in the word ate? Remember a long A will say it's name (→ A like ape). A short A will say “ah” like add. Since the A says its name in the word ate, it is a long vowel!
Long Vowels and Short Vowels – Summary
This text helped you learn about long and short vowels. Let’s review the facts about long and short vowels in words:
Vowels are a special set of letters in the alphabet: A, E, I, O, and U.
They can make two kinds of sounds: long and short.
Long vowel sounds happen when the vowel says its alphabet name.
Short vowel sounds do not sound like the letter's name, they sound shorter.
Have you practiced long and short vowels yet? On this website, you can also find interactive exercises, worksheets and more activities on long and short vowels.
Long and short Vowel sounds exercise
Find the vowels.Hints
Use the picture to help you find the 5 letters that are vowels.
Remember, vowels are a special type of letter that can make two sounds: long and short.Solution
All of the vowels on the farm are highlighted in yellow. Point to each letter and say it out loud: A - E - I - O - U.
S and N are both letters but they are consonants, not vowels.
Choose the long vowel sounds.Hints
A long vowel sound means the letter will say its name out loud.
Sing the alphabet out loud. When you hear A-E-I-O-U, those are the long vowel sounds.
Is the door closed or...?
What is being sent on the computer?Solution
The vowels, Aa, Ee, Ii, Oo, and Uu make two sounds. One of these sounds is the long vowel sound. Long vowels will say their name - just like in the alphabet song.
- Ape makes the long a sound at the beginning.
- E-mail makes the long e sound at the beginning.
- Ice makes the long i sound at the beginning.
- Open makes the long o sound at the beginning.
- Unicorn makes the long u sound at the beginning.
Choose the short vowel sounds.Hints
Short vowel /a/ says "a" like apple.
Short vowel /e/ says "e" like elephant.
Short vowel /i/ says "i" like itchy.
Show vowel /o/ says "o" like octopus.
Short vowel /u/ says "u" like under.Solution
Vowels make the short sound when they are followed with a non-vowel letter. For example:
- Add begins with the short /a/ sound.
- Egg begins with the short /e/ sound.
- Igloo begins with the short /i/ sound.
- Olive begins with the short /o/ sound.
- Umbrella begins with the short /u/ sound.
Sort the long and short vowels.Hints
When a vowel is long, it will say its alphabet name out loud.
When a vowel is short, it does not say its alphabet name but the sound that letter makes. For example, the word insect starts with the short i.
Each group should have 5 pictures.
Look for words that start with the same letter then work out which one is short and which one is long.
Let's look at the octopus and the picture of the ocean.
In the word octopus, the first o makes a short /o/ sound like in the word on.
In the word ocean, the o makes a long 'oh' sound like in open.Solution
When a word begins with a long vowel sound, you will hear the letter name as the first sound. All of these words begin with a long vowel:
- Acorn has the long /a/ sound at the beginning. You hear the letter name /a/ first.
- Equals has the long /e/ sound at the beginning. You hear the letter name /e/ first.
- Ice cream has the long /i/ sound at the beginning. You hear the letter sound /i/ first.
- Ocean has the long /o/ sound at the beginning. You hear the letter sound /o/ first.
- Unicycle has the long /u/ sound at the beginning. You hear the letter sound /u/ first.
The rest of the pictures begin with a short vowel sound:
- Apple begins with the short /a/ sound.
- Elephant begins with the short /e/ sound.
- Igloo begins with the short /i/ sound.
- Octopus begins with the short /o/ sound.
- Up begins with the short /u/ sound.
What do you know about vowels?Hints
Dee and Kala are peeking in the vowel pen. Which letters do you see?
Vowels are special letters, because they make two sounds: long and short. Long vowels say their alphabet name and short vowels make a shorter sound.Solution
The letters Aa, Ee, Ii, Oo and Uu are vowels.
Vowels make two sounds: long and short.
Listen for the middle vowel sound.Hints
Vowel sounds are not always at the beginning of the word. These vowel sounds are in the middle.
Stretch out the sounds you hear in the word. Tap your fingers for each sound you hear. Which sound was in the middle?
Remember, long vowels say their alphabet name and short vowels do not.
For example, the word pen has the short e sound in the middle. The letter e is said as e, not the letter name E.Solution
Here we can see the word nose has the long o sound in the middle, and the word mop has the short o sound in the middle.
- Zip has the short /i/ in the middle.
- Kite has the long /i/ in the middle.
- Bus has the short /u/ in the middle.
- Cat has the short /a/ in the middle.
The Letter S
The Letter A
The Letter T
The Letter P
The Letter I
The Letter N
The Letter M
The Letter D
The Letter G
The Letter O
The Letter K
The Letter H
The Letter E
The Letter R
The Letter U
The Letter L
The Letter B
The Letter F
The Letter J
The Letter Q(u)
The Letter W
The Letter V
The Letter X
The Letter Y
The Letter Z
Consonant Letter Sounds
Matching Letters to Consonant & Vowel Sounds— Let's Practise!
CVC Words: The Initial Consonant
CVC Words: The Middle Vowel
CVC Sounds: The Final Consonant
Long and short Vowel sounds
Words, Syllables & Sounds
Onsets & Rimes
Decoding: Look at the Picture
Decoding: Stretch out the Word
Counting & Segmenting Syllables
Final 'E' and Split Digraphs
Adjacent Consonants _r
The Soft C
The Soft G
Alternative Pronunciation y (I)