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Free Colorful Short Vowel Sounds Chart and Activities To Help Your Kids

Today we will be exploring the wonderful world of short vowel sounds. Don’t even think about those pesky long vowel sounds unless you want your kids to know all the sounds of the vowels at the same time. So far we have talked about teaching phonics to your kids as well as shared resources such as phonics apps.

By now you have also grabbed the free letter sound cards and have started using them. And I know that you also started planning out your lessons with the free Simple Lesson Planner for Printables. So let’s get to it, shall we?

What Are The Short Vowel Sounds?

So what are short vowels anyway? Well, when I searched for a definition I found this:

A short vowel word is any word that does not allow the vowel within it to generate that vowel’s long vowel sound. c/o Your Dictionary

So the general rule is that a short vowel is the vowel that doesn’t say its name. Think con vs cone- the first word doesn’t allow the vowel to say its name, while the cone allows /o/ to say its name.

Although both my kids learned all the sounds of each vowel, we still emphasized the short vowel sounds first. Now I cannot tell you why you have to learn short vowels first as opposed to long ones. I can tell you that’s just how it’s done and that is how Jael learned how to read. Caleb is now working on all the vowel sounds but we are emphasizing the short ones. I am sure there are other resources out there but I am just telling you what has worked.

Short Vowel Sounds Chart

Please note that affiliate links are used below so that you can find everything with ease.

The short vowel sounds chart is similar to the one that both my kids have used to recall the short vowels and their sounds. Before you can start using the chart, you need to assemble a few things first.

 HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer with Mobile Printing, Instant Ink Wausau Cardstock, 96 Brightness, 65 lb, 8.5 x 11 Inches, Bright White, 250 Sheets (91904) Avery Economy Clear Sheet Protectors, Acid Free (75091) Scotch TL901C-T Thermal Laminator, 2 Roller System, Fast Warm-up, Quick Laminating Speed (White) Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches, 8.9 x 11.4-Inches, 3 mil thick, 100-Pack (TP3854-100)

How To Use The Short Vowels Chart

Now that you have printed and laminated the chart for durability, let’s talk about how to use it. Oh, if you don’t own a laminator or don’t want to laminate the chart, just slip it into a protective sleeve 😉

  1. Use the chart as is daily. Allow your kids to sing silly songs about each vowel sound. Remember when I told you about Leap Frog Letter Factory? Use those songs for the vowels! If you can also find it, the Talking Words Factory is also awesome as it talks about short vowels.
  2. Play games with the chart! You can read more about these below.
  3. Use the chart while working on writing each of the vowels! The Hands on Alphabet book is perfect for this. Just print out the vowel and the activities you want to work on. PS it has over 500 pages of alphabet and phonics fun!

Short Vowel Games To Try

In order to play 2 of our most used games, you need to do the following.

  • First, print a second copy of the chart on regular printing paper.
  • Second, cut (yes cut) out each vowel and object.
  • grab a few magnetic letters and a strip of painter’s tape.

Game 1: Sorting

Place the painter’s tape on the floor, table or tray to create a divide. Your activity will be a hands-on version of the page in the Hands-On Alphabet book.

Next, decide on which 2 vowels you would like your child to work on. Let’s say that you will be working with /a/ as the page above. Grab a few pictures that are not /a/ sound and grab all the /a/ pictures as well.

Have your child sort them. Left column being /a/ and right colum not/a/.

Game 2: Matching

Grab your magnetic letters for the vowels as well as all the 1 image for each of the vowels.

Next, have your child place the magnetic letter on top of the correct image. For example, letter a will go on top of ant, alligator or astronaut depending on the image you chose.

More Short Vowel Sound and
Phonemic Awareness Resources

free short vowel sounds chart on blue background

If you are looking for some extra help with more letter sounds such as distinguishing between long sound and short sound of a vowel then try the following charts and resources below:

This rainforest dice long and short vowel reading game is such a fun way to help kids read vowels

This game helps your young learners work on the different sounds for the English vowels in an easy way.

While this activity does not have a long vowel chart, it does use word cards that include the following English vowel sounds:

  • long a,
  • long e,
  • long I,
  • long o and
  • long u

This activity is also a great way to work on short vowel words since it has words that use the:

  • short e sound
  • short u sound
  • short o
  • as well as short a and short i

There are also a few silent e words to help your kids practice.

Letter Recognition

Working on letter recognition (trying to identify the name of the letter), then try a few of the posts listed below. Feel free to use them to practice consonant sounds as well.

  1. Teddy Bear Preschool Letter Cards
  2. Preschool Letter Puzzles
  3. entire alphabet collection

Phonics Games and Tips

We all know the English language can be a bit tricky to learn. So if you are looking for a few other ways to teach phonics then check out the post Phonics, Songs, Apps and More

Now go ahead and grab your free chart and get to learning.

Sabina Samsel

Thursday 21st of November 2019

I see the writer has floor knowledge it the topic as well as some practical expertise. This type of information is more precious than copypasted blog posts ideas.

Gilbert

Monday 18th of November 2019

I know what you are trying to indicate and your point does make sense but that I can not say I totally agree with you. You see, there could be some complications in regards to the problems you've mentioned. Nevertheless, I enjoy the time you invested in describing your opinion. I'm interested in this subject and will surely dig deeper into the issue, although it will require me to devote some time looking for current statistics and reading scholar articles.

Royvia

Friday 13th of September 2019

Great post.

Lisa F

Thursday 16th of November 2017

Re: Short a words reference sheet. I think it's confusing to list OWL as a short a vowel word.....

Victoria

Thursday 20th of July 2017

Owl? Is that o really a short vowel sound?