Did you know that although English has only 5 vowel letters (a, e, i, o, u), it has more than 9 actual vowel sounds?
In this activity, your child and you are going to become familiar with the actual vowel sounds of English by hunting for these hidden vowels in groups of words.
I have provided the necessary worksheet for this activity.
Objective(s) of activity:
Pronouncing the words in a group of words which have the same vowel letter carefully, you need to group together words which have the same vowel sound.
If your child is not a comfortable reader yet, you can do this as a listening exercise where you will read out the words. Your child will still have to be the one that groups the words together.
This activity imparts an appreciation for the fact that the same English letter can sound very different in different words.
Targeted age group:
Children who are between 6-8 can do this as a listening exercise. Older children can do this as a reading exercise.
Number of participants:
One child is sufficient to do this activity. If there are multiple children, you can do this as a competitive or collaborative exercise.
In the worksheet, you will see 5 groups of words, one group for each of the English vowel letters. Each group has 12 words.
Under each group of words, there is an empty box for you to write in your groupings of words which have the same vowel sound.
You can see what I mean in the worksheet provided, but I have produced the words for the letter ‘a’ here.
Notice that all the letter ‘a’s are enclosed in a small box to show that this is the letter that you have to pay attention to in this group of words.
When you first start doing this activity, it is important to point out that the letter ‘a’ does not sound the same in all of these words even though it is the same letter. You can use this simple example to illustrate.
Eg. CAR vs. CAT
In order to make this activity fun, you should take turns saying these words aloud like zombies. You should also slow down the vowel sound.
CAAAAAR - CAAAAAT
Doing this will make the difference in the vowel sounds quite clear.
Saying these words aloud and slowing down at the relevant vowel sound is important especially if the word has many syllables.
Once your child has gotten the hang of what to do, you can then go through all the words together and group together words which have the same vowel sound.
Once you are completed with words with the letter ‘a’, you can move on the ‘e’ and then so on.
In the worksheet, I have suggested answers based on a Standard Singapore English accent. Your groupings may slightly vary. Of course, make sure not to let your child see the answers before doing the activity.
Notes for scaling up/ down difficulty:
If your child is having difficulty with this activity, sound out the words slowly for her so that she can hear the sounds clearly. Feel free to help.
If some of the words are too difficult (especially those with more than one of the same vowel, you can choose to leave these words out.
If you want an added challenge for your child, you can do this after all the groupings have been determined.
Have fun pretending to be zombies and let me know how this activity went in the comments!