Short Vowels Activities for Kids

Grade Levels: K-3

In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about phonics and short vowels. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Short Vowels topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Short Vowels

Vowel Sound Labels
Review a short vowel sound with your students. Then spend a day or week exploring words with that sound. Point to different objects in the classroom that use the short vowel sound and have students name the object out loud. Write the word on the board and read it together. Then have a student volunteer label the object to create a text-rich environment.

Sound Poem

On chart paper, write a poem that incorporates the same short vowel several times. Read the poem to the class and ask them to listen carefully. Then read it again and ask children to clap or snap whenever they hear the short vowel sound. Finally, call on students to identify the words where they hear the short vowel and to highlight these words in the poem. You may want to collect a separate list of these short vowel words, and ask students to illustrate them afterward.

Short Vowel Hunt

Tell students they are going to be detectives and go on a hunt for one of the vowel sounds. Students can work in pairs or individually to look through books, at classroom charts, and on labels around the room to find words that have the specified short vowel sound and write them on a paper. Often children will look for any word with the vowel in it, so remind them to read the word out loud to make sure it makes the short vowel sound. When they have collected several words, gather the class together and ask volunteers to share the words they found. As they offer words you may want to sort the words into categories, like: words that start with short a, words that have a short a between two consonants, and words that have short a at the end.

Family and Homeschool Activities for Short Vowels

Read, Read, Read

The best way to help your child explore language and practice reading is to read everyday. Your child can not only read books, but also read advertisements, labels, directions, signs, and any other pieces of text that they encounter everyday. Have your child carry a notebook to keep a track of new words and practice spelling them.

Short Vowel Memory

Draw or take photos of different objects in your house that are spelled with short vowels, such as a bag, lock, pen, or cup. Then on a separate index card, write the name of the object. Turn the photos and index cards over and have your child play a memory game to match the object with the word.

Short Songs

Together with your child, create a song that only uses short vowel sounds. First you may want to brainstorm words that share the same pattern of vowels and consonants, such as bag, tag, sag, gag, and lag. Then create a silly song together to the tune of a well-known song such as “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or “Old MacDonald.”