How to Teach Phonics Using One Easy Method


Learning to read can be a rewarding experience for children, parents and teachers - but it certainly does not come without moments of frustration!

Knowing the consonants is the easiest part of learning to read. A “p” says p and a “t” says t. But those vowel sounds can be very tricky! Most early readers get the beginning consonant sound, and then they guess at the word because they don’t know the correct vowel sound.  Does this sound familiar?

In order to become good readers and spellers, it is absolutely essential to know the vowel sounds and know when to use them in words.Did you know that the vowels can make 18 different vowel sounds?

Can you explain why the “e” in hen, he and her all make a different vowel sounds?

Here are some quick rules to help teach what to do when there is one vowel in a word. We are using the Voweletics™ The New Phonetics Resource Chart to help explain these simple rules. 

Feel free to listen to our WHAT TO DO#1 song below.  It will surely put you in the mood to learn!

Voweletics? WTD#1 Hen

One vowel with letters after it.

This word follows the short vowel pattern in WHAT TO DO #1. The one vowel “e” has another letter after it, therefore it makes a short vowel sound. Guide Words, such as Eggly from Voweletics™, help to reinforce that short “e” says e and the word is hen.

Voweletics? WTD#1 He

One vowel at the end.

This word follows the long vowel pattern in WHAT TO DO#1. The one vowel is found at the end of the word, so it makes a long vowel sound. Mr. E is the Voweletics™ character to remind us that a long vowel “e” simply says the name of its letter, e, as in Mr. E and in the word he

Voweletics? WTD#1 Her

One vowel with "r" after it.

But what will you do if one vowel has an “r” after it? You will hear that short won’t fit. Listen and hear what you have found - you have discovered a special vowel sound! In this word the one vowel after it has an “r” after it. The “r” makes it say its own special vowel sound as heard in our Guide Word Fern.  The “er” says er as heard in the word her.


The learner must look at the vowels and where they are placed in words to know which vowel sound to use.  Use the tips above for teaching how to identify the correct vowel sound when there is only one vowel in the word.

-Happy Reading!