A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y


Long Vowels

Long vowels are generally more complicated to learn because a long vowel sound is made using many more letter patterns and there are many exceptions to the rules.  When teaching long vowels, many educators tell students that a long vowel "says its name".

-a word with two vowels side by side normally makes the long vowel sound of the first vowel in the word (
vowel digraph/ ex. heat, rain)

-when a word has one vowel that comes at the end of a syllable, the vowel is usually long (ex. we, she)

-when a vowel is followed by a consonant and a silent e, the vowel would most likely make a long sound.  Educators sometimes call this the "magic e" or they tell students that the e tells the vowel to say its name. (Blevins, 2006)

Y is sometimes a vowel when it makes the long e or long i sound

This is a lesson to help you better understand long vowel sounds.

The video is long and most likely intended for ELLs, but it contains helpful information

This video has a cute song that describes the silent e.

Composition of long vowel sounds

Long a
-The long a sound can be produced in six different ways. 
   1. a-consonant-e as in cake and face 
   2. ay as in hay and play 
   3. ai as in rain and aim
   4. eigh as in eight and weigh
   5. a as in April and apron
   6. ei as in vein and rein 

Long e
-There are four ways to produce the long e sound.
   1. ee as in knee and wheel
   2. ey as in key and monkey
   3. ea as in leaf and pea
   4. e as in zebra and he

Long i
-Here are six ways to make the long i sound.
   1. i-consonant-e as in hide and kite
   2. i as in kind and hi
   3. igh as in might and high
   4. y as in my and fly
   5. ye as in bye and dye
   6. ie as in lie and pie

Long u
-The long is produced if three different ways.
   1. u-consonant-e as in tube and mute
   2. ue as in cue and due
   3. ui as in juice and suit

Y as a long vowel
   1. y is a vowel when it makes the long i sound as in why and by
   2. y is a vowel when it makes the long e sound as in baby and hairy

* Many of these combinations are vowel digraphs.

(Blevins, 2006)

Online games with long vowels