Do you know what the most common sound in the English language is? Surprise. It isn’t a short or long vowel sound. It is actually the “uh” sound., called the schwa sound. This can cause lots of frustration for our young readers, and that is what this fun schwa sound reading game is all about. Use this free printable activity as a chance to practice reading the schwa sound with kindergarten, first grade, and 2nd grade students.
If you have a child that is trying to sound out a word, and they have tried the long vowel sound and the short vowel sound and the word still doesn’t make sense, they probably need to use the schwa sound. Understading the uh sound, also called schwa sounds, is perfect for kindergartners, grade 1, and grade 2 students who are working on decoding words to read, spell, and write!
The schwa sound is often called the lazy sound, and is often represented by an upside down e (An e that is to lazy to sit up straight.) But all it really is an unaccented syllable that makes the /uh/ sound.
One way to begin this process is to let the children practice tapping out words. For example, have them tap out the word panda. Have them tap harder on the syllable part that is accented, and softer on the unaccented syllable. PAN/da.
Other examples, they can type out are:
Once they get used to tapping it out like that, help them see that all the syllables that are tapped softly make the /uh/ sound.
And then it time to practice reading these words. And that is where the schwa game comes in.
This game is incredibly low prep….which always makes me happy.
The rules are pretty simple.
And with that, our little ones get to practice reading four words over and over. They get to practice making the /uh/ sound in a fun way, and begin to recognize words that make this sound.
It is a fun way to work on these words that can trip up are little ones. The words that make the schwa sound.
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