Teaching Long Vowel Sounds with Decodable Passages

Repetition is key when it comes to teaching long vowel sounds in kindergarten. The more exposure students have to long vowel patterns, the more confident and fluent they will become! Decodable Passages are an engaging and motivating way to get students to practice reading long vowel words!

Teaching Long Vowel Sounds

Benefits of Using Decodable Passages

There are several reasons why decodable passages are such a helpful way to teach and practice long vowel sounds in kindergarten.

  • Practice Specific Phonics Patterns – Decodable passages generally focus on one word family or phonics pattern. This is great for targeted skill practice!
  • Improve Reading Comprehension – Decodable passages allow students to practice phonics patterns within sentences and paragraphs that have meaning. 
  • Create a Predictable Routine – It’s easy to build a daily routine centered around decodable passages since the format is similar for each one. Kindergarteners thrive on routine!
  • Build Student Confidence – When students can decode an entire passage of text, they will begin to view themselves as readers! This will improve their confidence and encourage them to keep practicing.
  • Encourage Reading Practice at Home – Speaking of encouraging students to practice, decodable text can be sent home for even more repetition. Students are eager to show off their reading skills to their families!
Decodable passages bound into a booklet

Teaching Long Vowel Sounds with Decodable Passages

The best part of decodable passages is that students can practice so many things with one printable activity! You can use them to keep students engaged in the repetition they need to master long vowel sounds.

Here’s a quick example of all of the ways you can practice long vowels with decodable passages:

1. Practice Long Vowel Words in Isolation

First, students can use a word list above the passage to practice the long vowels in isolation. Each word in the list contains the focus long vowel pattern. Students can read each word out loud and then identify the letters that work together to make the long vowels. They can circle or highlight the long vowel pattern in each word and then practice reading the words as many times as they need before moving on to the passage.

2. Find the Long Vowel Words

Once students have had plenty of time to practice the long vowel words in isolation, it’s time to look at the passage. Before they read the sentences, you can have them go on a word hunt and look for words in each sentence with the target long vowel sound spelling. As they find each word in the passage, they can circle or highlight the vowel pattern. This is also a great time to add more decoding repetition since students can read the words out loud as they find them.

Highlighting long vowel words in a reading passage

3. Read the Long Vowel Passage

Once students have had a chance to identify the long vowel spelling pattern throughout the passage, they’re ready to read it! Be sure to take a moment to review the title of the passage and look at any illustrations provided. Give students a chance to discuss what they think the passage will be about. This can activate prior knowledge and get those vocabulary words at the top of their minds, which helps with both fluency and comprehension.

Students can read the passage multiple times to get more repetition with the long vowel pattern and increase their confidence! You can even have them keep track of the number of times they read the passage by coloring in a star on the page.

4. Write Long Vowel Words

Answering comprehension questions can also help students practice long vowel sounds! As students write a sentence to answer the comprehension question at the bottom of the decodable passage, they can write the same long vowel words that they were reading in the sentences. This is just another way to help those long vowel patterns stick with the bonus of writing practice!

Writing a sentence to answer a comprehension question

5. Celebrate and Repeat

The final step is very important for helping emergent readers become more confident: Celebrate! When students get a chance to share and celebrate what they have learned, they will begin to feel like readers! Plus, celebrating by reading the passage to someone else is another way to encourage repetition and practice.

Printable decodable passages make it easy to recognize students’ hard work. After students have had a chance to practice the passage several times, they can read it out loud to a friend in the classroom or to the rest of the small group. If you have older “reading buddies” visit your classroom, your students can read their decodable passages to their buddies. Reading to older students is a huge confidence booster and motivator for new readers!

As I mentioned earlier in the post, decodable passages are also great to send home. Since students are already familiar with the text and the vowel pattern, they will be ready to share the passages with their families! The other benefit of sending home decodable passages is that families can see the types of words that their students can read and encourage them to read even more!

Printable Long Vowel Decodable Passages

If you would like to use decodable passages to teach and practice long vowel sounds in your classroom, check out this resource! I have put together a set of 37 passages that each focus on a particular long vowel spelling.

These passages are perfect for fluency practice, reading intervention, literacy centers, or any time you would like to incorporate more long vowel practice into your daily routine. To take a closer look at all of the long vowel fluency passages included in this set, just click below to head over to my shop.

Save These Tips for Teaching Long Vowel Sounds

I hope that this post has given you some ideas for teaching long vowel sounds in kindergarten. Be sure to save this post if you’d like to come back to it later. Just add the pin below to your favorite board on Pinterest. You’ll be able to quickly find these decodable passages when you’re looking for ways to practice long vowels in your classroom.

Tips for Teaching Long Vowels with Decodable Passages