Is your student learning long vowel sounds? In this printable, kids can practice their first long vowel sound silent e. These sounds include words with an e at the end, including: lake, made, fine, like, Pete, these, hope, rode, duke, use. Silent e words contrast with short vowel words: lack versus lake, hope versus hop, use versus us. For the first time, kids learn that the vowel can say its name. To practice silent e, kids need a worksheet that incorporates both short vowels and silent e patterns. In the silent e worksheets free printable, kids can read the word in each poppy flower and have fun coloring the flower field. Here is the free silent e worksheet:
Have your student read each word in the silent e worksheets free printable. If she misses a word, draw her attention to the end. Even if it’s a short vowel word without an e at the end, bring her to the end of the word. Ask, “Is there an e? Does that make the first vowel long or short?” If you ask this after each vowel error, the student will begin to analyze the words. She’ll learn how to distinguish long and short vowels.
Silent e worksheets free printable
When kids learn silent e, they need interleaving, a concept taken from Cognitive Science that means weaving old material into new material. If a child completes a worksheet with all silent e words like (ex. hide, flake, grade, dine, take), then the child knows to say the long vowel every time! This does not foster lasting learning.
It may appear that the child is learning the silent e rule, but she is really just repeating the long vowel again and again. She’s figured out that there are no short vowels in the list. Thus, she doesn’t really analyze the word. If a child reads an all silent e word list, it can appear that she’s mastered the concept when in fact she doesn’t know silent e at all. An all silent e word list results in superficial learning. Her knowledge will break down immediately when various sound patterns are introduced
Teachers can use the sample word list in the Poppy Field Coloring printout to create silent e lists. About half the words are short vowels. The other half include silent e words. Create a list with a variety of both. You can create a list between 10-20 words.
Silent e can be difficult to master
English is an alphabetic language, meaning it is full of regular, predictable spelling patterns. As a phonics specialist, I no longer look at text the same. When I see writing, regularities jump out, and usually, there are few exceptions to English phonics patterns. So what makes English so hard to learn to read? First, there are more exceptions in English than there are in other European languages. Second, English has many, many rules. Thus, be patient with struggling readers. Remember that you are teaching them a difficult code, not something they should just “get.”
What about the exceptions
Though there are few exceptions to the silent e rule, these exceptions are very common. For example, “some” breaks the silent e rule, but “some” is very common. Open a book and “some” is all over the place. “Come” is another common exception to the silent e rule. In addition, “have,” also a very common word, breaks the silent e rule. Lastly, “give” is a common sight word. There are few exceptions to the silent e rule, but these exceptions are very common words. This can result in some confusion for your student.
Thus, when teaching silent e, introduce some, come, give and have as sight words. Put them on flashcards and review them in each silent e lesson. Soon, your student will be able to tell you why some, come, give and have are sight words. Many of my students have been able to identify what these sight words should say (if they were phonetic): “Some should say soam. Come should say coam. Give should say gighv. Have should say haiv.” That’s right!
Reading Elephant offers systematic phonics books that gently lead kids to the silent e pattern.