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


Short Vowels

Short vowels most often follow a CVC pattern (consonant-vowel-consonant). Examples include: cat, beg, dig, cot, and mug. This vowel pattern is a good basis for beginning readers.  The following are rules, but it is important to point out that vowel rules are not always concrete for every word.  (Bear, 2000) 

- a word or syllable has only one vowel, it normally makes the short vowel sound

-a vowel is usually short when it comes at the beginning of the word, or
-the vowel is between two consonants

-Y can sometime make the short e or i sound

(Hults, 2003)

This video has a fun song to aid in teaching short vowels.

In this video, teacher, Bonnie Terry explains how students can take short vowels with them everywhere.

Activities for short vowels

Short a
Play a game  where the teacher will call out simple one syllable words.  When students hear a word with a short a, they stand.  If the teacher calls a word without the short a, they sit. (Armstrong, 2005)

Short e
Describe various short e word families (ex. [-et] bet, get, let) and see which student can list the most words in each family in one minute. (Squires, 2002)

Short i
Create a fishing game for students to fish for short i words.  Put various words on notecards.  Using magnets and "fishing poles" to have children "fish" for words.  Students must decide if the word they "caught" has the short i sound. (Blevins, 2006)
Short o
Take students to a concreted area with a small cup of water and a paintbrush for each child.  Talk about the short o sound in the word mop.  Let students use their mop/paintbrush to write other short o words with the water on the concrete. (Lewis, 2005)

Short u
Have students rearrange letters to make short u words. (ex. puc-cup/ nru-run/ dmu-mud) (Squires, 2006)

Online games using short vowels