Short Vowels in the Mouse House

Practicing short vowels with your students - both articulating them clearly, and 'hearing' (identifying) them - will help so much with early reading and writing skills.

Today I'dm excited to share an engaging activity to help with identifying short vowel sounds in words. 

But there are no cute pictures to cut.

No glue or scissors. 

Just listening with ears. 

Fancy that! 

Mouse House Printable Freebie

If you love a good visual, you can print the little reminder sheet poster from Google Drive HERE

Tell your little learners that they will be listening for the short vowel sound in each word that you say.

Finding words with feature short vowels 

If you're anything like me, and are really thinking about a hot cup of tea and a bathroom break often mentally challenged when trying to quickly select a good variety of interesting and appropriate words for language activities - you may like this little file from my TpT store.

The cover says 'Kindergarten' but it is also good for first and second grade. It contains practical word lists for various phonetic focus categories. You can flip to the page of a sound your are working on, and have a selection of appropriate words at your fingertips!

How to Play the Mouse House Game

So, let's get back to it shall we?
  • Read (from the teacher word book),  or think of some words with a variety of short vowel sounds. 
  • Your students listen to the word, 
  • Your students then show that they can identify the short vowel sound within the word by doing a hand signal to match it.
For short vowel 'a' sound - for example, you may have called out the words 'cat'

Hand signal for Short a Sound

Your students each make a house with one hand, and put the other hand (the mouse) AT the side of the house.

Hand signal for Short e Sound

For words with the 'e' sound - students put their mouse on the EDGE of the house.

Hand signal for Short i Sound

For words with an 'i' sound, students put their mouse IN the mouse house door!

Hand signal for Short o Sound

For words with a short 'o' sound, your students will put their mouse ON the house.

Hand signal for Short u Sound

And under the house for words with a short u sound. 

Getting harder

Start this game by using simple short cvc words, and make it more challenging by adding longer harder words that contain blends, digraphs and tricky sounds (also in the Teacher Word Book)!

Thank you so much for stopping by today - have fun with short vowels! 

short vowel activity for kindergarten