Word Study Lesson: Spelling short and long a words (a-consonant-e)

Have you seen my 5-part Word Study series? Now that the series is complete, I’m excited to get to work doing sorts and games with my six-year-old.  For her first lesson she sorted short a words and long a words spelled with a-consonant-e.  I’ll be sharing a lot of printables today — you’ll find them in one download at the end of the post.

spelling-lesson-for-short-a-and-a-consonant-e---the-measured-mom (This post contains affiliate links.)

So what can you do with this post if your child (or word study group) isn’t ready for this list?  Pin it and save it, because over time I’ll be sharing a whole series of lessons so that when your child or group is in the Within-Word pattern, you’ll have a ready set of resources!

This book is my go-to resource for teaching spelling.  I use the suggested lists in the appendix to create my own word sorts.
short and long a sort - the measured mom

Here was her word list.  She cut out the words and sorted them  into two column: short a and a-consonant-e.  She had two oddballs: what and have.  

word-sort-in-notebook---the-measured-mom After sorting the words again and reading them aloud, my Six glued them into her Word Study notebook.  Notice that the oddballs have their own special place.  When I taught in the classroom, I had my students copy the words into their notebooks.  Gluing the words is a good option for younger kids — copying a long list gets tiresome!

speed-read-spelling-words-(long-a-and-a-consonant-e)---the-measured-mom I saw this speed reading idea on Pinterest, and I knew it was something I needed to make for my daughter. Though she’s reading at quite a high level for her age (having just finished kindergarten), she learned to read with just some basic phonics.  After I taught her the word families she suddenly took off, and we never did get into all the spelling patterns you find inside words.  So while she can figure out words within context, she sometimes misreads very simple words in isolation.

To give her practice, I made this game. Each column contains both short a words and a-consonant-e words.  We took turns rolling the die.  Then we had to speed read the appropriate column.  She resisted at first, but by the second and third day of playing this she started enjoying herself.


On another day, she sorted the words in our pocket chart.  As she read the words aloud and thought about where they should go, I was reminded that Word Study requires so much thought – it’s such a great way to teach spelling!  These giant words are a great manipulative for the classroom.  And even if you’re homeschooling, it’s fun to have giant words to work with!


Here’s a spelling game I shared recently that you can use for any word list.  Read the words to your child (or have a buddy read if you’re in the classroom).  Your child writes each word, beginning on the bottom rung. Check each word as she spells — if she’s correct, she advances to the next rung. If not, she has to fix it (with your help) and write the next word on the same line.


After a week of Word Study, she was ready for her test.  Some teachers like to call out words that were not on the list but fit the pattern. I’ve never chosen to do that, but it’s certainly fair as long as kids know to expect it!

Here’s what you’ll find in the download:

  • Word sort in chart form: a and a-consonant-e
  • Word sort for pocket chart
  • Speed read a / a-e words
  • Climb the ladder spelling game

Get it here! Word Study Lesson (a, a-consonant-e) – the measured mom

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Follow The Measured Mom’s board Spelling Made Fun on Pinterest.

© 2013 – 2014, Anna Geiger. All rights reserved.


    • Anna Geiger says

      I’m always happy to hear of other teachers having used Words Their Way :) Thanks for commenting, Andrea!

  1. Cydnie says

    Words their Way is the BEST way to teach spelling, phonics, and ultimately reading skills. I’ve worked with Dr. Bear and Dr. Templeton. Thank you Measured Mom for putting their valuable work into understandable formats for parents and teachers. I would love to see more of the CVCE/CVC sorts.

    • Anna Geiger says

      That’s great that you’ve worked with the masters! Wow! I definitely plan to share more sorts — not as quickly as I’d like, I’m afraid, because I am also sharing alphabet activities and other printables that people have asked for. We also just had a new baby (a week old tomorrow!) which will slow things down a bit. But this is definitely my plan! Thanks so much for commenting.

  2. Shanna Slight says

    What do you do when the child can spell all the words on the list except the oddball words? Do you still put him through that “level” until he can spell the whole list? Do you use sight word spelling activities to focus on the oddballs? Or do you move on since he understands the spelling pattern that sort was emphasizing, even if he over generalizes its use? For example, this a, a-e list. My kid would be the one to learn the pattern, so now he spells all long a words with a-e and what is still “wut”

  3. Rosalie Perea says

    Grateful for your big to me. It is a great help me to teach my kids online- I have 2 sons 6yrs and 4yrs old. I had always taken my time every day to follow in you for my sons academic. It really relieves my heart.
    My youngest now started our Upper cases with your tips. Same as my eldest one. I am also following your technique.
    I’m a Filipina nurse working abroad and juggling my time doing their homework with my husband at home through the internet.
    Gratitude is the memory of my heart. God bless you more and your family.


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