Let’s have fun with Phonics learning #GuestPost

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In case you have followed my blog for quite some time, you might know I am committed to raising a reader.

I began with reading aloud to Dhruv twice a day when he turned 2. I supported his early literacy with phonics lessons which began a few months before he turned 4. The phonics lessons helped him a great deal with his reading. It might appear too early for a child to start systematic learning but trust me phonics was all fun and not at all pressure with an hour-long class twice a week. The classes included the use of audio/visual methods and lots of enjoyable and engaging activities. In short, the knowledge of phonics proved a blessing for us.

Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing of the English language by developing learners’ phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes—in order to teach the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns that represent them – Wiki

Today, I have Courtney Silk from Education.com as a guest discussing one of the many phonics activities focused on short and long vowel words for first-grade students.

Play Flip Over Vowels

In first grade, students are overwhelmed with reading strategies. They’re exposed to wave after wave of phonics patterns, and internalizing these patterns can take tons of repeat practice.

Here’s an activity to reinforce simple short and long vowel words and help your child get a quick visual representation of the “silent e rule.” Easy and fun, this activity is sure to have your child flipping over vowel practice! For even more fun resources that will help your child with reading, visit Education.com.

What You Need:

  • White card stock, cut into a large circle about 7 inches in diameter
  • 1-inch wide strip of white card stock, about 5 inches long
  • Variety of writing tools: markers, pencils, colored pencils, crayons
  • Brass fastener
  • Blank index card

What You Do:
1. Poke the brass fastener through the center of the circle. Use the fastener to attach the strip to the back of the circle so that it hangs over the side of the circle by about an inch.
2. Fold the excess paper over the front of the circle so that you create a flap that you can easily turn around the perimeter of the circle.
3. Use a black marker to write a lowercase “e” on this flap.
4. Use the marker to write a word on the circle directly to the left of the letter e. The word should follow a simple consonant, short vowel, consonant pattern (CVC words). Some suggested words include rat, hat, cub, tub, bit, rip, cap, rat, tap, rod, cop.
5. Turn the flap slightly so the ‘e’ is in a new space, and write another word from the list. Continue in this manner until you have about ten words written around the circle.
6. On an index card, use a pencil to write a description of a special treat or reward for your child, such as enjoying popcorn together, or making an ice cream sundae. Flip the card over so your child can’t see what you wrote.
7. Now, unfold the flap with the letter e, so all your child can see is the CVC words on the circle. Have her read each word to you. Assist as needed, and remind her that these are short vowel words.
8. For each word, have her draw a small illustration in the space to the right of the word. For ‘rat’. she can draw a simple rat, and so on. Have her continue in this manner until all the words are illustrated.
9. Now tell her she’s going to practice some long vowel words. To read them, she will simply flip the vowel sound, so the vowel sounds like its own name. Illustrate this, by flipping over the letter flap in front of the word ‘rat’. Say ‘rat’ then flip the ‘e’ over so it is visible, and say ‘rate’.

10. Have your child repeat this action, then turn open the flap, turn the wheel, and repeat for each word on the circle. Assist as needed.

Flipping vowels can be tricky! Encourage your child to keep trying, and tell her that if she flips the vowels all around the wheel, you have a special reward for her. When she’s finished, have her flip one last time. Then have her flip the index card over to reveal her special reward!


Courtney Silk is a community manager with Education.com.

Education.com’s mission is to nurture each child’s passion, curiosity, optimism, and educational success. They empower all kinds of educators to teach kids by providing the best educational resources to be used at home, at school, and everywhere in-between.

Picture Credit – Canva


  1. My babies are all grown up now Can’t remember exactly how I taught them how to read – there was nothing fancy just good old reading books together. My daughter loved the fairly tales and my son loved Thomas the tank engine – I think when they find an interest in something they just learn!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good ideas here, can never have enough activities in your teacher toolkit! I am a teacher, albeit on a year off!, and will be using this when i return to the classroom. If your interested i have a few games on my website ( free to download!! as well as some apps) although not going to change the world they work prettty well.
    Also if you havent tried, there is an app called teacher your monster to read that is exceptional, (it is not mine i wish it was though)


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