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Short Vowel Sounds

The five most important sounds to know are the short vowel sounds. If you recognize them when you hear them, they give you a lot of clues as to how to spell words.

The vowels are a, e, i, o and u.

A as in apple

E as in egg

I as in insect

O as in orange

U as in umbrella

Here is a little rhyme to help you remember them:

A, a, a, a - apple,
E, e, e, e - egg,
I, i, i, i - insect,
The short vowels we do say,
O, o, o, o - orange,
And u, u - umbrella, too.
Now I know my short vowel sounds,
I'll say them all for you.

Next, you need to practice saying each of the consonants with the each vowel after it. Remember that these are sounds and not words, so even if it spells a word, say the vowel with the short sound.

Like this:

Ba, be, bi, bo, bu

Ta, te, ti, to, tu

Fa, fe, fi, fo, fu

With the consonants c and g, only use a o and u. Don't use e and i, as they change the sound of the consonant.

 Write all the combinations out on cards. Pick a card and say the sound. Are you sure you know them all? Once you know them the next step is to add a letter after the sound.

Example: ba

Add a t, what does it say? Add a g, what does it say. Try with other letters. See how many real words you can make.

Once you can do this you can spell all sorts of words. Just say the word slowly and write every sound that you hear, in the order you hear them.

Example: bag. Say b-a-g, and then write the sounds you hear. You can even write some longer words, like desk and stop. In fact, you can write most words that only have a short vowel sound.

Once you know your short vowel sounds really well, there are all sorts of neat spelling tricks you can learn. 

When you are ready, check out lesson 2 to discover some secrets!

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