Is your student learning long vowel sounds? In ee ea worksheets, kids can practice the first long vowel after the silent e pattern. This free ee ea printable is a field of poppy flowers that kids can read and color:
English is an alphabetic language and phonics-based teaching methods are best. Struggling readers benefit from mastering the fundamentals. Then, later, kids can begin to learn exceptions to phonics rules.
Ee ea words
There are many ee ea words. The words included in ee ea worksheets, should include short vowels, consonant blends and the silent e pattern—this allows kids to review. Ee ea words make the long e sound.
For example, ee is in sleep, seek, need, keep, cheep, keen, creek, fleet, cheek, greed, feel, breeze, sneeze, tweet, bee, deed, seem, weep, meet, greet, peep, beep, …etc. There are many more words with the ee phonics pattern.
In addition, ea is in dear, peas, flea, weak, dream, speak, weave, beast, beach, read, seal, cheap, breach, dean, tear, leave, heal, team, sneak, meat…and many more words.
While there are exceptions to the ee ea phonics sound, they should be taught as sight words. Here are a few exceptions: bear, head, health, bread, spread. Some of these exceptions are not worth teaching as sight words, because they’re not very common. I’d recommend teaching bear, bread and head as sight words.
Is English transparent?
In ee ea worksheets, kids should only focus on phonetic words. This can help them master the spelling rules of the language. Eventually, kids develop enough phonics knowledge so they can identify exceptions on their own.
As an educator, do your best to present your struggling reader with a transparent code. What does it mean to have a transparent language? Transparent languages are languages with written codes with few exceptions. Swedish is considered a transparent code, because spelling units are regular, and there are very few sight words.
In comparison with other European languages, English is among the most difficult to learn to read (from Seymour, Aro & Erskine, 2003). Our code is not very transparent, because there are many exceptions and word types. In a study done on first grade decoding skills, students of French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Dutch and every other European language performed better in decoding skills. And I mean orders of magnitude better. Even though other codes may “look” strange to the English readers eye, other European codes are more regular and predictable than ours.
English phonics sounds
There are many reasons why English is irregular. Our language is Germanic, but many of our words have been borrowed from Romance languages. If you’re a word nerd, you might be interested to know that 99% of our language is borrowed from other languages. However, the few words that trace back to Old English are among the most common, including and, father, but, should (from The Power of Babel by John McWhorter).
As an educator, it might be useful to know why English is peculiar. However, students aren’t ready for this information. There’s strong, replicated evidence that simplifying the code provides children, especially struggling readers, with powerful reading gains.
Sight words & ee ea worksheets
At the beginning of teaching reading, you should make your explanations simple. Divide words into two categories: sight words and phonetic words. If you find a word that deviates from ee ea words phonics for example say “It’s a sight word” to your student. No need to say, “Well, this word actually comes from French and they pronounced it differently and the way we say it changed over time and…” This sort of explanation is like teaching a kid Calculus before they’ve learned Algebra.
Struggling readers are already frustrated. Ease their frustration by providing them with leveled material. Kids that learn to read other European languages have huge advantages. For example, Swedish readers take a matter of months to learn to decode, because their code is so transparent. In comparison, English requires four years of instruction to break: Kindergarten, first, second, third. By fourth grade, finally, kids transition from learning to read to reading to learn.
English in comparison with other European languages
People comment that speakers of other languages start to learn to read later. Well, that’s because they can! Their code is much easier to break! The length of time required for learning to read is very language dependent.
Chinese character readers used to require over a decade of intensive instruction—and this was the learning to read phase. And if a Chinese character reader wanted to become an expert decoder, this time period extended much further. Then, Zhou Youguang helped develop Pinyin, a phonetic system that allowed Chinese students to study Chinese characters independently. Chinese readers still study characters, but the Pinyin next to the character can help them identify the character on their own in the silence of their study room. Youguang brought literacy to millions.
The benefits of decodable texts
There’s strong evidence that mimicking a transparent language in the K-2 years results in stronger foundational reading skills. Without mastering the basics, kids cannot develop in other areas of reading like reading comprehension and critical thinking. When kids read decodables, they begin to master the English code much earlier than they would’ve otherwise. On this strong foundation, they can begin to develop in other areas of literacy.
When kids study ee ea worksheets, they are working on mastering basic phonics sounds and usually a handful of sight words. Usually, at the ee ea worksheets stage, kids are still learning common sight words. Here’s a sample of sight words your student might be learning as they’re working on ee ea worksheets and decodables: could, would, what, some, other, people, were, where, only, their.
I hope your student has fun coloring and reading the ee ea worksheets on Reading Elephant. For other FREE ee ea worksheets, check out my ee ea phonics books.
Reading Elephant also offers systematic phonics books that help ease kids through the learning how to read process.