In this post, I’m offering a free silent e printable story. The silent e story is about a girl, Sun, that’s celebrating Chinese New Year with her family. If you’re teaching the silent e pattern and want to expose your students to cultures from around the world, the free silent e story “Spring Fun in China” is an excellent fit. Here it is:
In addition, if you have Chinese students in your classroom, they might relate to the holiday fun Sun partakes in, like decorating her house with lanterns, getting a red envelope with money or eating noodles and cake with her family.
When do kids learn silent e?
Typically, kids learn silent e at the end of Kindergarten or beginning of first grade. Of course, it all depends on the school your child attends. If you notice words like bike, save or hope in your student’s books, then she’s expected to know the silent e pattern.
If you’re a teacher, you might introduce silent e after your students have learned short vowels, consonant digraphs and consonant blends. After a student learns phonics sounds in that order, they have a firm foundation with short vowels. Finally, you can introduce the long vowel silent e pattern.
By this time, your student will be in the habit of saying the short vowel—which is good. In order to get her to say the silent e sound, ask her, “Is there an e at the end of the word?” and explain that the e at the end makes the first vowel long.
What is silent e?
Silent e is a long vowel phonics sound. In Reading Elephant’s curriculum, it is the first long vowel pattern students learn. When kids learn silent e, they learn that an e at the end of the word can make the first vowel long. Silent e is also called final e, bossy e and magic e. Here are some sample e at the end words:
a_ e ex. lake, bake, lane, make, mane
e_e ex. Pete (This pattern is mainly in longer words, but teach it nonetheless).
i_e ex. hive, bike, dive, tile, mile, mine
o_e ex. hope, cope, hole, rope, rose
u_e ex. duke, use (this one has two sounds, including the “oo” sound as in “duke” and the long u sound as in “use.” Teach both.)
Sight words in silent e printable story “Spring Fun in China”
There are a few sight words in the free silent e printable story “Spring Fun in China.” Here they are: China, says, have, to, the, of, noodles. Noodles is not technically a sight word, but when a student learns silent e, they may not know the phonics for “noodles.” Thus, treat “noodles” as a sight word.
If your student stumbles on one of these sight words, just give her the word! If your student struggles to read a phonetic word, encourage sound-by-sound reading. Draw her attention to the end of the word if she’s struggling to decipher the sound of the first vowel. Ask her, “Is there an e at the end of the word?”
Reading Elephant will eventually offer a more thorough e at the end series. For now, I hope you like the sample, “Spring Fun in China.”
Keith G. White says
I taught 2 lessons after silent e on basic syllables (open and closed syllables) it, at, up, and be, we, me as well as … cvc/cvc words like pencil … and because of their frequency of use in ESL.. I taught a basic lesson in C+le (syllables) words like apple, noodle. I try to keep the teaching as explicit as possible, and to precede lessons to reduce the need to teach children that memorizing words is the answer