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Home » Blog » Literacy » Phonics » Teaching Long Vowels

Teaching Long Vowels

Literacy, Phonics

Written by: Mary Kate Bolinder

Your students are growing as readers and writers. Introducing long vowel rules and spelling patterns is a natural next step in their reading journey. Keep reading for lessons, activities, and tips to teach long vowels in the second grade classroom.

What are long vowels?

The long sound of each vowel refers to when the vowel “says its name.” So, if your students know how to sing their ABCs, they already know the long vowel sound of each vowel. When introducing long vowels, there are so many spelling patterns to think about. You will want to break each spelling pattern into its own lesson. Long vowel sounds are found in open consonants, CVC-E words, vowel teams, and diphthongs. A classroom sound wall and sound chart are great ways to introduce and reinforce short vowel sounds.

This long vowel sound chart is a lifesaver! It's a great visual resource for students to keep in their literacy notebooks, or displayed on the classroom wall.

long vowel reference chart for students to keep in their reading folder or to laminate and keep at the small group reading table
Download this chart

Teaching Long Vowels in 2nd Grade

These spelling patterns and rules need exposure and practice for students to master. Phonics Ladders can be used as a whole group guided lesson, or as student independent practice. Read more about how to use phonics ladders in the classroom here.

A phonics ladder activity in which students write the words that match each long a (cvce) word. As they progress up the ladder, they will only need to change one letter to make the new word.
Download this phonics ladder

Long Vowel Activities, Centers, and More!

Long Vowel Phonics Mats

phonics mat with long vowel pattern /ie/ practice activities and decodable text to read /ie/ words in context
Download this activity

Have you tried our phonics mats yet? Each phonics mat features a brief, decodable reading passage, along with fluency and other reading skills practice on each page.

Phonics Day by Day

phonics day by day - a daily 5 minute phonics review page with activities focused on two syllable words with long vowels (CVVC pattern)
Download this week of Phonics Day by Day

Phonics Day by Day is a spiral review that reinforces previously taught phonics patterns. You can check out an example of the long vowel review here.

Long Vowel Phonics Poems

Download this Phonics Poem

Phonics poems give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the given pattern to text. This poem provides 5 days of reading fluency activities.

Long Vowel Toothy

Download this Toothy Set

We truly have a Toothy game for every skill! Check out the long vowel Toothy Games in the Toothy Phonics Pack. You can find an example of Long Vowel Toothy here.

Hands-on Phonics Centers

Download this phonics center

Looking for a hands-on phonics center for long vowels? Look no further than our easy-to-prep 2nd Grade Literacy Centers. Check out an example of our long vowel centers here.

Long Vowel Phonics Posters

All Access member? Download for free!

Use these posters as a visual reminder for students and teaching tool!

Videos to Teach Long Vowels

Check out these videos that teach long vowel sounds!

Remember, there are so many ways for long vowels to make their long vowel sound. Take your time with each new phonics pattern, and watch your students' reading and writing abilities grow!

How to Teach other 2nd Grade Phonics Concepts

Ready to teach another phonics skill? We’ve got a post for that!

Hard & Soft C/G

Multisensory Phonics Activities

Silent Letters

Short Vowels

Short Vowel Digraphs

Long Vowels

Vowel Teams

Teaching Vowel Teams


Inflected Endings

Syllable Patterns/Multisyllabic Words

How to Introduce the 6 Syllable Types


New & Fun Ways to Teach Contractions


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