How to teach short e and short i

Short e and short i are difficult sounds to distinguish for most beginning readers.  When I teach these sounds, I rely on two game-like activities that little children seem to like.

For one of the activities, I have gathered small pictures of words which either start with short e or short i or which use them in the CVC pattern.  Such pictures might include an igloo, bed, fish, elephant, mitt, pen, pin and bell.  I cut several index cards in half and paste one picture on each card.  Also on one card I write an e and on another card an i.

During the lesson, I put the e and i cards in front of the child and we practice saying those letter sounds.  Then the child sorts the deck of cards I have created, putting cards under one of the two letter sounds.  We say the word aloud to reinforce the letter sound.

For another activity, I have created BINGO-like cards of short e and short i words.  Since most children learning these sounds with me are four years old, I limit each BINGO card to nine words.  I say one of the words and the child must find and cover it, using a letter tile or a plastic marker.

Included here are several BINGO cards which you can download or use on your tablet or iPad.

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