Short & Long Vowel Sounds Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Would you like to make learning about long and short vowel sounds a snap? This lesson plan uses a video lesson to outline key facts about vowel sounds and a small group activity allows students to practice what they've earned.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'vowel'
  • distinguish between long and short vowel sounds
  • use long and short vowel sounds in words


1 to 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Distinguish long and short vowels when reading regularly spelled one-syllable words.


Know spelling-sound correspondences for additional common vowel teams.


Decode regularly spelled two-syllable words with long vowels.


  • Letter tiles such as those used in the game Scrabble
  • A worksheet created using the quiz associated with this lesson

Key Vocabulary

  • Vowel
  • Long vowel
  • Short vowel


  • Begin by asking the class to define the word 'vowel.' Have them present their definitions for class discussion.
  • Now play the video lesson Long & Short Vowels: Sounds & Word Examples, pausing at 00:39.
  • Have the students practice making the vowel sounds as indicated in the video lesson before proceeding.
  • Write the words 'bug' and 'bugle' on the board.
  • Ask the students to explain the differences in the vowel sounds in the two words, discussing this briefly as a class.
  • Play the video lesson and pause it at 2:55.
  • Review the sounds made by the vowels in long and short form by saying each vowel in each form aloud as a class.
  • Now ask the class to consider what happens to vowel sounds when words have multiple vowels, discussing this briefly as a class.
  • Play the rest of the video lesson now.

Discussion Questions

  • Is there any way to tell if the vowel sound in a word should be long or short?
  • How do vowel sounds change when vowels are next to one another in a word?

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