Long Vowel Introduction

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Objective

SWBAT recognize that vowels sometimes make the long sound in certain words.

Big Idea

When students understand that vowels can make both short and long sounds, they immediately build their decoding skills.

Why this Lesson?

1 minutes

With the shift to Common Core, the responsibility to teach short and long vowel sounds has been placed upon Kindergarten teachers.  It is our duty to make sure that we successfully introduce long vowel sounds to our students; when they have a good knowledge base of short and long vowels, they are able to read more efficiently.  Here, I really talk about the importance of teaching long vowels.

Introduction to Long Vowel Sounds

15 minutes

Students will be seated on individual spots on the carpet in front of me at this time.  This lesson is taught in the whole group setting because it is an introductory, informative practice lesson.

Direct Instruction:
"Today, we are going to learn about some sounds that I believe are special sounds!  We have been working on the most common sounds that correspond with letters, but now we are going to learn that some letters can make multiple sounds!"

"So far, we have learned that A can say /a/, E can say /e/, I can say /i/, O can say /o/ and U can say /u/.  But, did you know that A, E, I , O and U can all make different sounds as well?" (wait time)
"Yes!  A, E, I, O and U can also say their names in words!  This means that A can say /Ā/, E can say /Ē/, I can say /Ī/, O can say /Ō/ and U can say /Ū/!  See what I mean about them being able to say their own name?" (wait time)

"Right now, we are going to learn some key words to help us remember the long vowel sounds.  I am going to tell you the letter, the picture and the sound, and I want you to repeat it.  Then, I am going to let you teach a friend.  This will ensure that we all remember our key words!  So, please move and sit with your partner."

*Here is a cool poster of Vowel Sound Cards that I used in the past because it provided words for me while also allowing students to make a visual connection!

We Do and Student Practice:
At this time, students will be in pairs on the carpet. 

"Alright, A can say /Ā/ like in ape." (I mimic the movements of an ape.)
"Say that with me, please."
(Students will say, "A can say /Ā/ like in ape," and mimic the movements of an ape with me.)
"Yes!  Now take turns teaching your partner about the long A sound."

"Now, let's move to the next sound.  E can say /Ē/ like in eagle." (I mimic the movements of an eagle.)
"Say that with me, please."
(Students will say, "E can say /Ē/ like in eagle," and mimic the movements of an eagle with me.)
"Great! Now take turns teaching your partner about the long E sound."
"Good job!"

"Let's move onto long I now."
"I can say /Ī/ like in ice cream." (I mimic the movement of licking an ice cream cone.)
"Say that with me, please."
(Students will say, "I can say /Ī/ like in ice cream," and will mimic the movement of licking an ice cream cone with me.)
"Good! Now take turns teaching your partner about the long I sound!"

"Good job!  We are more than halfway there!  Let's move onto O! O can say /Ō/, like in oval." (I draw an oval shape in the air.)
"Say that with me, please."
(Students will say, "O can say /Ō/ like in oval," and draw an oval shape in the air.)
"Great, now take turns teaching your partner about the long O sound."
"Good job!  We are now at the last long vowel and its sound!"

"The last vowel in the alphabet, as we know, is U.  U can say /Ū/ like in unicorn.  Remember, unicorns are fictional animals, but they are a great clue word to help us remember the long U sound!  So, U can say /Ū/ like in unicorn" (I use my pointer finger to make a "horn.")
"Say that with me, please."
(Students will say, "U can say /Ū/ like in unicorn," and will create a horn with their finger.)
"Great!  Now take turns and teach your partner about the long U sound."


"Fabulous practice, everyone!  I am so proud of your partner teaching times!  Now, let's go over all of our long vowel sound and key words together and act them out!"

We do:
As a group, we go over A for ape, E for eagle, I for ice cream, O for oval and U for unicorn.  We review the sounds and actions one time together. 

Independent Practice:
Then, I let my students show me their movements and I listen to them make the long vowel sounds!  I make sure to pay attention to students and assess their correctness when possible.

After students have practiced, I like to reinforce this lesson with this awesome video that really shows short and long vowel sounds very well!

Daily Practice

10 minutes

Each day, for five days (following the introduction), we focus on one individual long vowel sound.
When we focus on long A, I like to read The Rain Came Down, by David Shannon.
When we focus on long E, I like to read Peep, by Maria van Lieshout.
When we focus on long I, I like to read Iris has a Virus, by Arlene Alda.
When we focus on long O, I like to read Say Hello to Zorro, by Carter Goodrich.
When we focus on long U, I like to read Dear Mrs. La Rue, by Mark Teague.
I love reading these books to make a textual connection to the long vowel sounds.  After reading, each day, we go back and find the long vowel sounds in the book together.  This serves as a great review!
* I like to read these books AFTER I introduce the sounds because students are then able to listen for those specific sounds.  I think that it's important for me to provide students with the background knowledge needed (by introducing the sounds) prior to asking them to really connect to and listen to the sounds.


Daily, after we review specific long vowel letters with these books, I print out (1/2 size) versions of some awesome long vowel sound books from Free Phonetic Readers.com!  I found them here.  I like these books because they have a word list for students and each page has one, if not two, long vowel words.  These books are simple, but they allow for repeated, fluent practice.  I give one book to each student and have them read it to themselves; then to a partner.

Also, I like to use this great video for daily practice because it keeps students engaged while also reinforcing these skills!

Assessing Daily Practice

5 minutes

The way that I assess students' understanding of these long vowel sounds is through listening to them and observing as well.  This is a two-step assessment.

First, I assess students' responses while we are looking through the pieces of literature.  If students are telling me to highlight words that do not have a long vowel sound, I note that they may need some re-teaching on that particular day.  I also pay attention over multiple days to students' responses during this time as well- this tells me who really needs some extra intervention time with long vowels.

Next, I assess students' use of long vowel sounds when they are decoding (particularly in small group reading).  Because we have already done the introduction, I make sure to pay attention to the long vowel sounds that students are doing well with or are having problems with.

Extending the Lesson

5 minutes

In order to keep the lesson going, I leave the pieces of literature that we have connected to our long vowels in my library center for at least a month- I encourage students to go back and look for the long vowel sounds within the text!

Also, I like to have students collect all 5 of the printable books (one representing each long vowel), and keep them together for a week; students re-read these books at times when they finish their work early or have a few extra minutes of free time.  After a week of practice, I send these books home so parents can help students read them over and over again as well!  After all, practice makes perfect!

Here are some helpful things for writing (Long Vowel Sound Reference Bookmarks (with visual clues)) and for center time (Long Vowel Picture Sort Activity).  Also, I really like this Long Vowel Center Game and I like to use this Long Vowel Booklet for my writing station as well!