This long a spelling game will help your child learn to spell a-e and ai words.
This is the second week in my spelling game series for kids learning to spell long vowel patterns. Last week we tackled short a and a-e. This week we’re adding ai words to the mix.
It’s low-prep, too! Just print the game board and cut apart the cards. Grab a die and playing pieces, and you’re ready to go.
How to play
1. Deal six cards to each player, and put the rest of the cards face down in a stack.
2. Place your playing piece on any raindrop you choose.
3. Take turns rolling the die and moving around the board. When you land on a raindrop, read the word and look for words in your hand with the same pattern. Put them in your point pile.
4. If you land on a lightning space, you may discard any oddballs.
5. Each turn, replace the same number of cards you discarded with cards from the deck. If you have no cards in your hand to match the pattern, draw one new card anyway.
6. When you have no more cards to play, the game is over. The player with the most cards in his point pile wins.
Why are short a words included?
Are you wondering why I included short a words like flag and sat when this game’s focus is long a words?
It’s because kids need practice seeing patterns within words. When they see that short a words are nearly always spelled with just an a in the middle, they begin to understand that they must do something different when spelling a long a word.
So when they spell wave, it can’t be wav. Their chooses are probably between wave and waiv.
Why this game is effective
In this simple game, your child really gets to think about spelling patterns within words. When he lands on the word rain and looks at the cards in his hand, he might find the words brain and said. Brain would go in his winning pile, because it has ai just like rain. But said would be an oddball. Why? Because even though it has ai, the letter pair (called a vowel digraph) makes the short e sound.
Plus, seeing all the words around the board gives your child repeated exposure to the words.
Extension activity: Want your child to get practice actually writing the spelling words? Try my free Climb the Ladder spelling game.
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Long Vowel Teams Bundle
Your students can complete these activities in Google Slides on a computer or tablet. The activities give them practice with ai, ay, ee, ea, ie, igh, -y, oa, ow, oo, ui, and ew.