When we first learn to read and spell, we learn about short and long vowels. As we get older and don’t need to think about the rules as often, we sometimes forget exactly what they are. So, here is a little refresher, just in case. Long vowels say their name, a, e, i, o, u. Short vowels sound like this: a as in apple, e as in elephant, i as in igloo, o as in octopus, and u as in umbrella. If your child is just learning these or needs a little practice, try some games for short vowels for elementary students.
Understanding what short and long vowels are, and the sounds they make, can help in reading, writing, and spelling. For example, there is a rule in spelling that a vowel will usually be short when it is in a closed syllable, like the word not. This is what is called a CVC word, or a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern. The vowel, o, is short in this case. If we take the last consonant off and make the word no, the o becomes a long vowel and says its name. We can’t understand how rules like these work if we don’t understand the difference between a long and a short vowel.
Online phonics practice is a great way to get kids interested in practicing these skills. There are so many online games that it’s easy to find something kids will like.