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In Orton-Gillingham, the Magic e is introduced after the students have mastered short vowel sounds.  When an e is added  to the end of a short vowel sounding word, it changes the sound and also the meaning of the word.  The Magic e makes the vowel sound long and say its name. For example, rid becomes ride.  On today’s post I am going to show you how to make DIY Magic e wands you can use to help your students learn this concept as well as a list of words you can use to practice it.

Getting Started:

You only need 3 things for this Orton-Gillingham activity.  

  1. Something to use as a wand: for example, a popsicle sticks, a small twig, or a ruler.
  2. Paper cut into the shape of a start with an “e” written on it.
  3. A list of words for Magic e to work its magic on!
A Magic e wand balanced on top of a white board with the words man, not, pin, rob, and tub written on it.


How to Make DIY Magic e Wands

Step 1

Tape or glue the paper star with “e” on it to the want.  If you are teaching a group, you can make several of them so that each student has their own magic e wand to use.


Step 2

Write a list of short vowel words on a piece of paper or a whiteboard.  See the list below for suggestions of CVCe words.

at hat mat mad
scrap bit rid strip
slim pin quit sit
hop slop cop tap

Step 3

Students will simply read the CVC word and then place their magic e wand at the end of the word to change that vowel sound.  

If you are teaching this Orton-Gillingham activity in a group, you can place a  basket filled with these wands of all shapes and the students can pick out what they want.  You can also use this as a center activity with partners. 

Watch our favorite teacher, Miss Renee show you how the activity works here on this video!


If your child isn’t really 100% sure of all the short vowel sounds, then they might not be too successful with this Orton-Gillingham activity.  To be able to learn Magic e, your child must be very fluent reading short vowel cvc words (pot, hut, sit, cat, etc.). If your child doesn’t have this skill yet, you will need to back up and fill in the missing gaps before you teach long. Here’s another fun, interactive Orton-Gillingham activity to help students master the short vowels:

CVC Word Booklet Activity

Thank you for reading my post today and learning more about an Orton-Gillingham Activity.  You might also enjoy reading my previous posts:

Fly Swatter Phonics Game

My Favorite Sight Word Activities


Please don’t leave without checking out the PRIDE Reading Program.  The PRIDE Reading Program is an Orton-Gillingham curriculum that is used by teachers, tutors, and homeschooling parents worldwide with great success.

The PRIDE Reading Program

Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at info@pridereadingprogram.com or visit the website at www.pridereadingprogram.com
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