Long ee words phonics can be relatively easy for kids to master, since ee is in common words like “see” and “bee.” However, many struggling readers take longer to master ea words phonics. Learning ea and ee together can improve retention. Students see that ea and ee have the same sound, but different spelling patterns.
(At the bottom of this post, I’ve attached a free long vowel phonics book that focuses on ee and ea words phonics.)
ee and ea words phonics say the same sound
Here are some sample ee words phonics: bee, see, tree, feed, need, cheer, flee, reef, leek, beet, sheet, speech, deep, queen, feet…there are so many!
Here are some sample ea words phonics: sea, team, meat, bean, beach, leaf, tear, flea, teach, treat, reach, heal, peach, meal, seal, tea…there are so many ea words phonics too!
Teach ee and ea words phonics together
Introduce ee and ea in the same lesson. Write a sentence containing both spelling patterns. For example, “Dean can see the bee land on the green leaf.” Encourage the struggling reader to analyze the ee and ea words and highlight the phonics units. Underline ee and ea and ask the student what each unit says. Write the units on your struggling reader’s phonics sound chart.
Avoid the first vowel does the talking rule
Do not ever teach: “When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.” This common phrase is simply not true. Kids learn in spite of this rule, not because of it. Struggling readers are almost certain to fall further behind if they are taught this rule. This “rule” is a myth.
Deliberately teach your student to notice the a in “ea.” If you teach him to ignore the second vowel, the child will make frequent mistakes on vowel digraphs that break the “first vowel does the talking” myth. There are lots of vowel digraphs wherein the first vowel DOES NOT “do the talking.”
If you teach this myth, your struggling reader will also be a poor speller: the myth teaches kids to ignore the spelling unit!
Introduce ee and ea words phonics after your student has mastered short vowels, blends, consonant digraphs and final e words
Before your student reads the free ee/ea book at the end of this post, there’s a lot he needs to know. The free printable phonics book is designed for first graders. However, since struggling readers are often very behind their peers, make sure your student is ready to read the book.
Can he read short vowel words like: map, top and ten?
Has he mastered consonant digraph words like: ship, chat and this?
Can he read words with blends like: trip, frog, and swam?
Has he mastered final e words like: Mike, lake and side?
Have you introduced ee and ea words phonics yet?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, print out the phonics book and watch your first grader read and practice ee and ea words phonics.
For more printable phonics books, check out our fledgling shop. ReadingElephant.com offers short vowel books for kindergartners and there’s much more to come.
If you’d like decodable books, check out The Printable Phonics Books Library.