Short Vowels

Review Cards

Sound Cards

Review and Drill – beginning consonant cards

“When I hold up a letter, say the letter’s name and give its sound.”

“Good job! We are going to work on short vowels today.”

Step 1

Place the sound cards a, i, o, u, e on the table in front of the student. 

 Say, “The name of these letters are a, i, o, u, e. What are the names of these letters? These letters are vowels. When I point to a letter, say the letter’s name, and give its sound. Watch me as I demonstrate.”  

a, /ă/   –   i, /ĭ/   –   o, /ŏ/    –   u, /ŭ/    –    e, /ĕ/

“Good job! Do you know the letters a and I can also be a word? The letters a and I are words that can also say their own name when they are by themselves.

Step 2

Phonological Awareness

“Close your eyes. I will say a word. You will repeat the word and listen for the /ă/ sound. If you hear /ă/, raise your hand. Let’s practice. Say hat. Do you hear the /ă/ sound in hat? Yes, you hear the /ă/ sound in hat so you raise your hand. Good. Let’s practice some more words.”  

Repeat this activity with:

bat, man, hit, at, cat


“Now let’s listen for the /ĭ/ sound.”

big, tip, hop, fit, fin


“Now let’s listen for the /ŏ/ sound.”

on, pot, hit, tap, hop


“Now let’s listen for the /ŭ/  sound.” 

gum, hum, hot, dud, nag


“Now let’s listen for the /ĕ/ sound.” 

yet, let, red, cat, yes

Step 3

Letter Tiles

“Say jam.”

“Bring down the letters for each sound in jamRead the word again. Now put all the letters back where they belong.”  

Repeat the above activity with the following words:

tab, hit, hot, sun, pensad, jig, jog, pug, yes

Step 4

 Red Words

Turn to page 35. Review all the Red Words on pages 35-36. If the student can say the red word in 3 seconds or less, place a black check mark next to the word. A black check means the student has mastered the word and can now be reviewed once in awhile but daily review is not necessary. If the student cannot say the word within 3 seconds place a red check mark next to the word. Red checked words will be used in Step 4.

Pick a red-checked red word from your red word list.

Say, “This is the word ______.” 

What is this word? Point to the word. Slide your pointer finger under the word while you read it.” Have student repeat this 3 times.

“Now, stand up. Spell the word, tapping once for each letter down your arm. Then read the word again while sliding your hand from shoulder to wrist.” Have the student repeat this 3 times.

“Now write the word in a red marker on the whiteboard saying the letters aloud as you write and underline the word as you read it.” Have the student write, read and underline 3 times.

“Can you give me the word in a sentence?” 

Repeat this activity with up to 3 red words.

Step 5

Reading Words

Student Workbook Page 3 – Word List: Short Vowels

“Put your finger under the first word. Underline the vowel. What is that sound? Now read the word.”

Repeat with the remaining words, reading left to right. 

Step 6

Reading Sentences

Student Workbook Page 3 – Sentences: Short Vowels

Look at the first sentence. Put your finger under the first word in the sentence. Now read the sentence quietly in your head and look at me when you are finished and I will ask you a question.”

When the student looks up at you, you will ask the student a comprehension question. Then have the student go back and read the sentence aloud.

Repeat this process with all of the sentences:

Max can pat the cat.

“What animal can Max pat?” (the cat)

The bag has a tag. 

“What is on the bag?” (a tag)

Jim is a big kid.

“Who is a big kid?” (Jim)

The pig did win.

“Who won?” (the pig)

Tom and Jim did not win.

“Who did not win?” (Tom and Jim)

The box is not on top.

“What is not on top?” (the box)

The cub can run.

“What can the cub do?” (run)

A pup has fun in the tub.

“Where does the pup have fun?(in the tub)

The pet is at the vet.

“Why would you take a pet to the vet?” (answers will vary)

Let the cat get in the van.

“Who will get in the van?” (the cat)

Step 7

Reading Stories

Student Workbook Page 4 – Reading Passage: The Pet Hens

Look at the title of this story. Can you read it out loud? What do you know about the topic of this story?” (Have you ever seen, known or been…Help student connect to the text.)

“Now, read the first paragraph quietly in your head and look at me when you are finished and I will ask you a question.” When the student looks up at you, ask “What do you think will happen next? Why?” (Help student predict.)

“Now, read the next paragraph quietly in your head and look at me when you are finished and I will ask you a question.” When the student looks up at you, ask “Tell me what you were imagining in your mind as you read those sentences.” (Help student visualize the story by making pictures or movies in the mind.)

“Now, read the last paragraph quietly in your head and look at me when you are finished and I will ask you a question.” When the student looks up at you, ask “What were the most important events in this story?” (Help student determine importance.)

Go back to the beginning of the story and have the student read the entire story from the beginning to the end out loud.


Step 8

Sound Dictation

Student Workbook Page 5 – Sounds

“Say /ă/. What letter makes the /ă/ sound? With your finger, write the letter that says /ă/ on your palm. Now write the letter on your paper. Now, look at the letter you just wrote. What is the name of this letter? What sound does it make?”

Repeat the above with the following sounds:

 /j/, /b/, /d/, /ĭ / /ŏ/, /f /, //, /g/, //

Step 9

Word Dictation

Student Workbook Page 5 – Words

“Say catSpell the word cat by writing the letters on your palm. Now, pick up your pen and write the word cat on your paper.”

Repeat with the above activity with each of the following words:

mad, lip, not, gum, men, tag, sip, hum, wet


Step 10

Sentence Dictation

Student Workbook Page 5 – Sentences

“Listen carefully as I say a sentence, and watch as I make a dash on the whiteboard for each word in the sentence.”  

The man ran.

“Now, you say the sentence as you point to each dash. Now, you fill in each dash with each word from the sentence. Good. Now go back and read the sentence that you just wrote.”

Repeat the above with the following sentences, but this time in the student workbook instead of the whiteboard:

The lid fit.

The sun is up.


Step 11

Fluency Practice

Student Workbook Page 6 – Fluency Practice: Short Vowels

Place a reading marker under the first row. Going across the row, have the student read each word as quickly as they can. Be cautious, as some students will become very anxious if they feel any time pressure. Never push for speed at the cost for accuracy. Accuracy is more important than speed. If the student will tolerate it, have the student do all 15 rows.


Progress Check

It is time for a progress check!

Student Workbook Page 37 – Progress Page

Dictate the following sounds, words, and sentences to your student. Have them write the following on the progress page: 

Sounds:  /ă/, /ĭ/, /ŏ/, /ŭ/, /ĕ/

Words: ran, hid, top, lug, let, bad, win, box, cut, bed


Max can pet the cat. 

The cub can run and win. 

The man has an ox.