Games to recognize medial vowel sounds

Written by michelle labbe
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Games to recognize medial vowel sounds
Teachers often incorporate games into lessons on medial vowel sounds. (apple for teacher image by max blain from

Teaching children to recognise medial vowel sounds, or the vowels found in the middle of words such as the "ee" in "feet," has the potential to turn into a tedious lesson. Grasping the concept of the differences in vowel sounds and their placement in words can be confusing for young children at first. To teach medial vowel sounds effectively, use interactive games or illustrations to help make the lesson more appealing to young minds.

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Sound Switches

Gather the students into a circle. Come up with a simple word containing a recognisable medial vowel sound, such as the "a" in "bat." Go around the circle and have each child contribute a new word by replacing the medial vowel sound of the previous word. For example, if you started with "bat," the next child could say "bit," "bet," or "boat." Come up with new examples until the children master the concept.

Matching Game

Make sets of flashcards with matching pairs of words that contain the same medial vowel sound, such as "cat" and "map." Illustrate the flashcards with pictures for each word. Have the children match the pairs of flashcards that contain the same set of medial vowel sounds. For another twist to the game, have the children play Concentration with the cards, flipping them over to match the pairs from memory.

Vowel Sound Picture Cards

Give each child matching sets of picture cards for strings of four or five words containing the same medial vowel sound. Illustrate each word on one side, and write out the medial vowel sound on the other side: for example, cards for "tail," "vase" and "gate" would all say, "long 'A'" on the back. Start the children off with a single word, and have them identify the matching words and line up those cards in a row. They can use the backs of the cards to check their work.

Pebble Game

Sit the children in a circle and have them clap slowly in rhythm. Hold a pebble in one hand and begin reciting rhyming words containing the same medial vowel sound, such as "nap," "lap" and "cap." After the first few words, pass the pebble on and instruct the children to contribute another rhyme and then pass the pebble on to the next child. Allow nonsense words, as long as the medial vowel sound is correct.

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