Teaching Vowel Patterns

Teaching phonics and vowel patterns can be tough…there’s so many letter combinations that make the same sound! But have no fear, I’m here to help you with posters, word cards, word work, sorts, and games. So keep reading…! 🙂

I have a bundle for all of my long vowel patterns you can get here: Long Vowel Bundle It includes all vowels (a, e, i, o, u) at a discount! (It’s buy 4 vowels and get the 5th one free!)

Keep reading to see my Long a Spelling Patterns. The activities shown are included in each long vowel pattern product (a, e, i, o, u).

Vowel Posters


Each vowel product comes with two posters. One for the long vowel, and one for the short vowel. Display these in your classroom on your focus wall, or near your small group area.

Word Cards


These long a vocabulary cards can be used multiple ways:

  1. You can Write the Room. This is where you “hide” the cards around your room, on your walls, etc. for students to find. They walk around with a clip board and write down the words that they find. You could also have students write the words in alphabetical order.
  2. You can add these vocab cards to your Focus Wall or Word Wall.



These long a word cards have pictures and words on separate cards. You can do the following with these cards:

  1. You can play matching games, like Memory.
  2. Complete word sorts.
  3. Use in a pocket chart.
  4. Use as flash cards.


Word Work


You can use the Write the Room activity with the vocab cards above. Hide the vocab cards around your room, have students find them, and write the words on their papers.


Other Word Work activities include:

  1. Build a Word–students have to cut, glue, and spell the long a words correctly.
  2. Write a Word–students have to read, match the picture, and write the words.
  3. Circle a Word–students have to circle the correct spelling for each word.



There are also Word Sort Cards included. This is how I do word study in my classroom:

Monday–the students cut apart their word cards and do a blind sort (they try to figure out different ways to sort their words). They keep them in a bag in their desk for the week.

Tuesday–the students will meet in small groups with the teacher. We will discuss the words, define any words they might not know, and talk about how to sort the words according to the long a spelling patterns. We use the bold words as Header Words, and sort the other words under each Header Word. We will also highlight the long a spelling pattern on each word card (a-e, ai, ay).

Wednesday–the students write sentences using their words. They also glue their sorted word cards into a notebook or on a piece of construction paper. They have to glue the words sorted correctly under the Header Words.

Thursday–the students look up the words in the dictionary. We switch it up each week by having the students find different things. For example, definition, part of speech, page number, etc.

Friday–we have a spelling test with the words. The students have to spell the words correctly, and they have to write the words under the correct Header Word. I usually pick 10 words, in addition to the Header Words, to give as the spelling test. The students don’t know which 10 words I’ll pick, so they have to study all of them.

Other word study activities and sorts you can do: draw a picture for each word, speed sort, partner sort. Let me know how else you sort in your classroom by leaving a reply below! I’m always looking for new ideas!


This is a book of Long a Words. You just need to print, cut in half, and staple along the edge for each student. Students can color and write the word (spelled correctly) for each picture. There is also a blank page if you’d like to add your own words.




Connect Four Spinner Game: students work in partners to play this game. They spin the spinner and color the word on the game board, trying to connect four words in a row, across, or diagonal.


Long a Patterns Spinner Game: students play in partners, spin the spinner, then cover a picture with the matching spelling pattern (a-e, ai, ay). You can use mini erasers or counters as game pieces.


Matching Game with Puzzle Pieces: students can play a matching game to match the picture to the correct word. Use this in a center, or for fast finishers.


View my other vowel products:

Long Vowels:

Long Vowel BUNDLE

Long a Spelling Patterns

Long e Spelling Patterns

Long i Spelling Patterns

Long o Spelling Patterns

Long u Spelling Patterns

I also have Short Vowel activities. Some of these activities are different than the Long Vowel activities. The Short Vowels include posters, word work, games, and fluency passages with different levels.

Short Vowels:

Short Vowel BUNDLE

Short a

Short e

Short i

Short o

Short u


Sh and Ch Diagraphs


Let me know how you teach phonics and vowels in your classroom! Leave a reply below.


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