In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about phonics and the silent e. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Silent E topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching Silent E
The Long and Short of It
Have your students make signs that say “long” or “short.” Then call out different words with short or long vowels and have students hold up their signs. They can write the words down in a chart to sort the words. Then have volunteers call out words.
Write words with silent e on some index cards and suffixes on others. Then give a card to each student to pin to his or her shirts. Have them mingle throughout the classroom and pair up words and suffixes together. The pairs join their word and suffix together to write a new word together. Remind them to drop the silent e when they add suffixes that start with a vowel.
Clap, Clap, Clap
Have everyone sit in a circle and clap a slow rhythm. Then have each student call out a long vowel word in time with the rhythm when it comes to their turn. Those who cannot name a word with a long vowel word in time are “out.” These students can take turns writing down the words that are called out. You can increase the difficulty of the game by making the students think of rhyming long vowel words, or using only one long vowel, or clapping a faster beat.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Silent E
Look up a simple poem or story on the Internet and print it out. You may wish to use a fairy tale, nursery rhyme, or folk song. Read the piece together and then have your child cross out every silent e. Then read the piece again. How did it change? You can repeat the activity with different pieces of writing or take a walk and challenge your child to read signs in the same way.
Write down different one-syllable words that have short vowels, such as tub, cub, rub, tap, cap, gap, kit, bit, sit, rip, shin, etc. Pronounce them together and then have your child write the words with a silent e at the end and read them aloud again. You may wish to do this activity with magnetic letters as a fun alternative. If your child is unfamiliar with the word, look it up in a dictionary together.