While phonics and reading have come very naturally to some of my children, other kiddos of mine have struggled to internalize phonics concepts and read fluently. In the past 2 years, I have read more about phonics than I ever wanted to know, and have truly taught myself how to teach my children.
Is it just me? It seems like I spend an inordinate amount of time teaching myself how to teach my children. As my long time readers know, I was a Registered Nurse in my pre-homeschool life and not a teacher by profession.
At this point in my homeschool career, I’m assuming this constant, uphill battle of my learning to teach my children well is the norm.
Is this your norm as a homeschool mom also? I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments. xo
As I have learned more about teaching phonics to my own children, I’ve been able to pinpoint areas that need extra focus.
I’ve spoken a few times about the intense spelling and phonics work my older two girls are working through this year. As we progress through my mom-made spelling curriculum utilizing outside resources, I can see problem areas that need consistent review.
My 5th grader needs a lot of work on vowel sounds and vowel teams, so I created this set of long vowel word search puzzles for her to work through during the week.
Long Vowel Word Search Puzzles
My 5th grader’s brain goes a mile a minute. She doesn’t read as fluently as she could because her brain doesn’t slow down enough for her mouth to enunciate the words. Her words are frequently misspelled because her hand won’t keep up with the pace of her brain.
Spelling is not usually of concern to my daughter because, well, just doesn’t have an innate attention to detail.
The study of Latin, however, is really working on this particular skill and I am finally seeing some fruit from it! Hooray!
But that Latin post is for another day.
To help my 5th grader cycle back through these vowel sounds and vowel teams, I created this set of long vowel word searches.
Each word search focuses on a particular long vowel sound, and only one way of spelling that particular sound.
For instance, for the vowel A, there are 4 different word searches:
— Single Vowel A – Contains only words with the long a sound spelled with the single vowel A (paper, April, potato)
— Long A: a_e – Contains only words with the vowel-consonant-silent E pattern (cake, slate, shape)
— Long A: ai – Contains only words with the vowel team AI (rain, chain, waist)
— Long A: ay – Contains only words with the vowel team AY (May, away, today)
There is also a portion on each page to write a few of the words from the list, and then identify the letter(s) that make the long vowel sound.
If you download the whole packet of 5 vowel sounds, you’ll see that I included two styles: 1 word search with elementary lines for younger students, and 1 word search with plain lines for older students.
The free download at the bottom contains the plain lines for older students.
How to Use Long Vowel Word Search Puzzles
There are many varied ways you can use these word search puzzles with your children or classroom students!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Coordinate these word searches with your weekly spelling list that focuses on the same phonics sound.
- If you have an older elementary or middle school student, they could easily complete one page each day.
- Take the time to go through each word on the list and make sure your child understands the definition. Also identify any other phonetic issues such as silent letters, a schwa sound, types of syllables (open, closed, r-controlled, etc), or digraphs.
- Print all of the word searches out and bind them as a “book” to use during down time.
I have found that the more I identify phonics concepts and talk them over with my children, the more aware they become of their spelling. Over time, I am able to see how this word and sound awareness is drifting over as they write across the curriculum.
I’ll admit that it does take a focused, consistent, intentional approach. I very rarely ever hand them a worksheet or assign them written work without going over it in detail, and that includes any word work activity.
Download the Long A Word Search Puzzle Packet
I’ve completed all of the long vowel sounds for this word search packet, and you can download the Long A word search packet for free at the end of this post! Just enter and confirm your email address, and the download will go to your inbox.
Would you like all of the long vowel word searches to use with your students?
If you’d like to purchase the whole packet, you can click below and add the 20-page packet to your cart. Click on the image below for details and samples.
You can download the Long A packet here: