With many different ways to spell the long A sound, it’s not surprising that students need plenty of practice. I like to keep things fresh with plenty of activities and games. Try adding these ideas into the mix for long A sound practice in your classroom or for homework.
1. Introducing the long A sound
Start by getting students familiar with different ways to spell the long A sound. These six steps are a great way to introduce the concept and get students thinking about the long A sound.
- Say three words with the long A sound. Snake, tail, day
- Ask: What vowel sound do you hear? Students should recognize the long A vowel sound.
- Write each of the words you said on the board—snake, tail, day.
- Underline the long A digraph—snake, tail, day.
- Explain that there are different ways to spell the long A sound.
- Ask if students can think of other words with the long A sound. Write them on the board, grouping them with the correct spelling pattern. Add additional spelling types, such as a and ea, as they come up.
2. Long A sound word sort
Students practice sorting words by the correct spelling pattern. There are a couple of ways to do this.
Word Card Sort. Provide students with a set of word cards. Then get them to sort the words based on how the long vowel sound is spelled. They can do this by putting cards with the same long vowel spelling together. You can provide labels for the different ways to spell the long A sound, or you can let them sort them and then identify the spelling type.
Word Sort Activity Sheet. This is a great practice opportunity for independent work at stations or to send as homework. The activity sheet has a list of words to sort at the top and a grid labeled with the different spellings of the long A sound: a, a-e, ai, ay, ea. Students write each word in the appropriate section.
3. Long A sound bingo
My students love playing bingo, and it’s easy to adapt for the long A sound (or other long vowel sounds or digraphs). For the long A sound, your bingo cards should have different ways of spelling long A and room for students to write a word in each box.
Call out words that include long A. Have students write the word in the correct box. Continue reading words one by one, allowing a brief time for students to write the word. When they have three in a row (or the full card filled), students should call out BINGO! Check to see if all words are spelled correctly. If they are, declare the winner. If not, keep reading words.
4. Long A sound read and write
For this activity, students read each word, underline each sound, write each sound and then write the whole word.
Choose words with the long A sound and different spelling patterns, such as apron, tray, table, rain, and break. Set up a worksheet or whiteboard with the word, boxes to write each sound, and a larger box to write the whole word.
For each word, get students to:
- Read each word.
- Underline each sound that they say.
- Write one sound in each box.
- Write the whole word.
5. Draw long A sound words
Many of my students enjoy drawing, so this activity tends to go over well. It’s simple enough to send for homework or can be used as an independent activity in the classroom.
Set up small boxes on the page where students can draw a small picture. Label each with one of your long A sound words. Students read the word and illustrate it. Alternately, let students choose words from your word list to illustrate and have them write the word that labels each illustration.
These are some fun ways to practice the long A sound, and of course, they are easily adaptable if you want to practice other long vowel sounds. You just need to choose appropriate words and the spelling patterns for different sounds.
Looking for more ideas to practice the long A sound—or any long vowel sounds? How about:
- Cut and match
- Draw the words
- Draw and match
- Choose the correct spelling
- Find the words
- Read and write
- Match the words
- Sort the words
- Finish the sentences
- Fluency board
- Sound bingo
- 4 in a row game
- Reading and spelling game
I’ve got done for you activity sheets and game boards, plus instructions in the Long Vowel Worksheets Bundle. The bundle includes a pack for each of the long vowel sounds a, e, i, o, u. The bundle includes 330 pages of fun, hands-on activities and games perfect for small group work, literacy stations, independent work, or homework to consolidate skills.
Get yours here >> Long Vowel Worksheets Bundle.