Teaching Long Vowel With Silent "E" Rule

Updated on February 8, 2018
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Adding Silent E

Adding magic silent e to the end of short vowel words.
Adding magic silent e to the end of short vowel words.

Adding Magic Silent E to the End of Words

The child has worked hard learning short vowel words. Now, we are going to change the game a bit and explain what happens when we add silent "e" to the end of the word. "Silent 'e' is magic and it tells the vowel before to say its name in the alphabet instead of the sound it usually makes."

Using index cards, write down some short vowel words. It's usually best to start with "a" words, such as cap, mat, can, ran. Have the child read the word with the short vowel, then add the silent "e," written on a separate card, to the end of the word. Read the new word as an example. Cap becomes cape. Mad becomes made. Remind the child when adding the silent e to the end of the word, the first vowel says its own name. The letter e is tired after all that work, so it is quiet and falls asleep.

Practice a few times and let the child try also. Help the child if they get stuck. After you've finished changing "short a" words to "long a" words, you can move on to "i words" and "o words" and "u words."

The index cards are a quick and easy way to produce material for practicing changing words with silent "e," but if you want to download prepared material instead of making your own index cards, there are materials available at the Teachers Pay Teachers website. There are also worksheets and interactive games online to practice adding silent "e." Finally, you will also find some videos to help children recall the rules at the bottom of this page.

Making Flashcards

Below are lists of words for making flashcards. Prepare index cards by writing these words on them. Make one more card with the letter e and cut it out for adding to the end of the other words.

List of Short A Words for Adding Silent E

man

tap

mad

wag

pan

cap

List of Short I Words for Adding Silent E

lit

sid

kit

fin

rip

win

pip

sit

pin

bit

List of Short O Words for Adding Silent E

not

rod

pop

hop

ton

tot

mop

List of Short U Words for Adding Silent E

cub

Silent E Bundle

If you prefer to download and print the silent e word cards, the Teachers Pay Teachers website makes that easy to do. You can find a bundle of word cards on the site, by Lavinia Pop that also contains worksheets. There are many other downloadable activities from other teachers on the site as well that you can find by searching "silent e."

Silent E Worksheets

Silent E Worksheet Practice
Silent E Worksheet Practice

Online Game for Practicing Spelling Silent E Words

Education.com has a fun game for practicing spelling words with silent e at the end. It's called "Silent E Bus Stop Spelling." Also on the site, you can find silent e worksheets for practicing. Silent e is typically introduced in the middle of first grade, but you can find worksheets here for Kindergarten through 2nd grade.

Electric Company Videos

Below are two classic Electric Company videos that contain songs to help children remember the "silent e" rule. Kids love these videos.

The Electric Company Silent E - The Ever Popular Silent E Song

Silent E is a Ninja by the Electric Company

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