Teaching short vowels is a fundamental early literacy skill that students will continue to build on in second grade. Keep reading for lessons, activities, and tips to teach short vowels in the second grade classroom.
What are short vowels?
The short vowel sound of each vowel refers to the most commonly heard sound. It is the first sound that students learn the vowel makes before they are introduced to long vowels, vowel teams, and diphthongs. A classroom sound wall and sound chart are great ways to introduce and reinforce short vowel sounds.
Teaching Short Vowels in 2nd Grade
Short vowels make the short vowel sound when they are closed in by a consonant, as in CVC words, VCC, or CVCC words. This Sounds Chart from our Lucky Little Toolkit is a great resource for students to have in their desks.
CVC Short Vowel examples: hat, met, kit, pot, cut
VCC Short Vowel examples: add, end, ill, odd (usually a double consonant makes the vowel short)
CVCC Short Vowel examples: back, deck, pick, rock, duck (double consonant blends make the vowel short)
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.
Short Vowel Activities and Centers
This student favorite (and easy to manage) game features the phonics skill: Short Vowel Word Families. It comes in print or digital versions and is great for whole-class instruction, small group work, or independent review.
A 2nd grade short vowel decodable phonics passage featuring common short vowel spelling patterns. Students will read the passage, write sound words and answer comprehension questions.
A 2nd grade hands-on phonics center where students select a short vowel game card, read as they move through the game board, then match short vowel words to picture cards and record.
A mixed short vowel CVC words phonics center in which students use the beginning sound of a series of pictures to reveal a mystery short vowel CVC word.
Need an activity for early finishers or whole class review? Check out this worksheet with mixed short vowels for practice.
Videos to Teach Short Vowels
Check out these videos and songs to reinforce short vowel sounds for visual-auditory learners!
With so many resources to teach short vowels, which will you choose first? Tell us in the comments below!
How to Teach other 2nd Grade Phonics Concepts
Ready to teach another phonics skill? We’ve got a post for that!
Short Vowel Digraphs