This set of worksheets helps students identify and recognize vowels that don't look like they sound.

Vowels are speech sounds that we can create with an open vocal tract. In the English language we recognize there to be five and sometimes six letters that represent these sounds. The letters a, e, I, o, u, and sometimes y makes these sounds. Most language have at least three vowels. Short vowel sounds occur when a letter is not pronounced in the same way the letter sounds. Vowels that sound the same as the pronunciation of the letter are called long vowel sounds. You can tell the difference between long and short vowel sounds by sounding out the word and specifically the vowel sound and comparing it to the letter sound.

The collection of worksheets below will help students find and decipher vowels that don't sound like as they appear. For example the word "fan". The "a" is a short vowel because it does not sound like an normal "a" sound. Short vowels normally appear when grouped or surrounded by consonants. This gets tricky when we get it vocal language. Homophones draw fear in most eyes, when they are not written down. For instance, would have a steak or stake for dinner? Is it hot outside because the son or sun is glaring down on you? It is a really good idea to do a few of these worksheets as a class. Try to sound out everything and when possible, make sure to use visuals and pictures to help you along.

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Print Short Vowel Worksheets

Click the buttons to print each worksheet and associated answer key.

Sounds Worksheet

Short Vowel Sounds

Say the name of each picture. Color the pictures where you hear the sound we are looking for.

Picture Worksheet

Say The Picture Aloud

Say the name of each picture. Color in the box that contains the letter whose vowels do not sound like the letters that you see.

More Sounds Worksheet

Find the Short Vowel Sounds

Say the name of each picture. Circle each picture that has a that sound in its name.

Missing Sounds Worksheet

Missing Vowel Sounds

Write the missing short vowel in each word. Then say the word.

Listening Worksheet

Listening for Vowels

Say the name of each picture out loud. Write the letter of the missing sound that you hear. Hint: You should name all the vowels once!

Little Words Worksheet

Short Little Words

Use the vowel words in the box to complete each sentence.

Short Uu Worksheet

Short Uu Worksheet

Say the name of each picture. If you hear the short Uu sound, circle the picture in these words: tub glue brush truck mug

Sorting Worksheet

Column Sorting

Sort each word into the correct column, to show which sounds that it contains.

Short Aa Worksheet

Short Aa Worksheet

Where are all the short As located in the words and which words even have it

Short Oo Worksheet

Short Oo Worksheet

Where is the pint-sized o sound coming from in: koala snow lock hot dog pot

Match Worksheet

Match Game

Draw lines to match the pictures that have the same vowel sounds.

Short Ii Worksheet

Short Ii Worksheet

Where does the "i" not sound like it appears on the visible paper?

Line Worksheet

Line Matches

Say the name of each picture. Draw a line to the letter that makes the same sound.

Short Ee Worksheet

Short Ee Worksheet

Say the name of each picture. If you hear the short Ee sound, circle the picture.

Art Worksheet

Short Sound Art Project

Saw each word quietly to yourself. Draw a picture of each word that has a sound in its name.

What Are Short Vowels?

The English language is made up of 26 letters. They are further divided into vowels and consonants. The vowels: a, e, i, o, and u have two methods of pronunciation. They make (at least) two sounds, a short one and a long one. Sometimes, they can be silent, too.

When a vowel in a word makes the sound of its particular letter, it is called a short sound. Say the words bat and led. The 'a' in 'bat' and 'e' in 'led' make these sounds.

The most common sound for each vowel is its "short" sound:

- a is pronounced as /æ/ like in ant, map, or tanning

- e is pronounced as /ɛ/ like in egg, men, or getting

- i is pronounced as /ɪ/ like in ice, tin, or literature

- o is pronounced as /ɑ/ like in ostrich, lot, or osmosis

- u is pronounced as /ʌ/ like in umbrella, pun, or mutt

The Consonant Vowel Consonant (CVC) Pattern

The sounds that are associated with the letters, a, e, i, o, and u are the short vowel sounds. These letters produce this sound when they are placed between two consonants making the CVC pattern. Consonant-Vowel-Consonant or CVC words, such as fat, met, hit, not, and cut, make the vowels produce this sound.

You should let your students know that when we use the term short, we do not mean the length of time it takes to pronounce the vowel sound—it is meant to be a name only.

If a vowel follows two consonants, the vowel will make this sound.

For example: ball, Beth, pull, broth, and ding

Additionally, when a vowel is pronounced with a short vowel sound, it may be followed by two consonants. It is not necessary for the consonants to be present for the identification of these vowels but they do offer a handy clue that the sound in that particular instance is indeed that echo you are looking for.

When a word starts with a vowel and is followed by either one, two, or more consonants, the CVC pattern will still apply.

Example CVC Words with Sounds

a - Gas, dab, mad, pal, sap, gap, yam, zap, jab, van

e -Gem, leg, vet, hem, red, wet, set, met, Ted, jet

i -Gig, lit, rim, pin, sin, fig, sit, zip, gin, did

o -Got, cop, rod, not, sod, tot, jot, mom, pot, cot

u -Gum, rut, mug, cub, sun, tug, gut, hug, pug, sub

Rules of These Sounds

As mentioned earlier, these sounds are called short, but it doesn't actually take a shorter time to say them than long sounds. It is essential for beginners to learn how to pronounce the short sounds of these five vowels because they are the most commonly used sound for their letters.

The rules for how and when to use the short vowel sounds apply to all five vowels.

- When the syllables of a word end in a vowel, followed by a consonant, usually the vowel is short and it is almost always short.

- When we add -ed to change a verb to the past tense, the vowel sound stays the same. An ending consonant is often doubled for keeping a short vowel short. For example: Stop – Stopped, Spill – Spilled.

Ways to Teach Short Vowels to Kids

- Play songs and poems from YouTube and other online resources

- Make practice worksheets

- Use hand gestures to work on muscle memory

- Find the vowels on flash cards