Want to help your beginning reader learn how to read a-e words? Try this simple activity!
So my Five is doing what his older brother and sister did. I was teaching him phonics at a slow-ish pace (he wasn’t in kindergarten yet), and he had finally grasped CVC words (cat, rip, etc.). He was doing pretty well with beginning blends, too.
Then all of a sudden he started reading. Fluently. Not perfectly, mind you, but enough that during last night’s Bible story he was able to read the word “desperately.”
Here’s the thing. He figures out those hard words (and the easy ones too) with context clues. So, yeah, he can read quite a bit. But he often stumbles on very simple words, and he can’t read harder words in isolation.
His phonics skills are lagging behind. (Because he got ahead of me!) So even though I love to hear him read easy reader books and even our Bible story book, I know it’s important to back him up a bit when we do our learning sessions.
I’ve got some printable a-e games in the works, but I wanted to start with something simpler.
So I came up with these. I call them “fold and read” cards. When you cut out the strips, you can fold in from the right side to change a short a word to an a-e one.
But first, I had him read through all the short a words.
As I suspected, he stumbled on quite a few. “Shack” was “shake.” (Even though he’d get this right if he was reading it in a book.)
“Grad” was “gab,” then “gad,” and finally “grad.” It’s hard for him to slow down sometimes!
When we’d gotten through the stack of sixteen words, I showed him that the letter “e” can change these words like magic. “See here? We have the word can. It has the short a sound. /a/.”
“But look! We can fold in the end and add that magic ‘e.’ Now the sound of the letter a changes into its name. What word do we have now?”
Fat to fate.
“This is a special one. When a word ends with ck, we’re going to take away the c when we add the magic e.”
“What word do you have now?”
As you might recall, my Five is my reluctant learner. He doesn’t like being interrupted from his Legos or other projects to do learning activities with me. But he was eager to do this one.
When we finished I said, “We’ll have to try this again sometime,” and he actually said, “Yeah, that was fun.” (!!)
When I suggested he read them to Daddy a few hours later, he was happy to do it. And I’m pleased to report that he did much better on those short a words. He only stumbled a couple of times when adding silent e.
This one was a winner!
We’ll have more a-e activities coming soon. After that, keep an eye out for i-e, o-e, and u-e printables as well.
To prepare the activity:
- Print pages 2-9 front to back on regular paper.
- Cut apart on the solid black lines.
- Fold and read!
More fold-and-read printables:
Find all our silent e printables here!
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