Sounds and English Spelling Patterns

Cat photo linked to newspaper article to demonstrate English spelling patterns

Everyone knows that English spelling patterns are difficult and most of the time it seems to make no sense. One way we can make sense of it is to link word sounds to letters.

Reading Activity

To do this, I have given you an article I found in The I newspaper on Friday 12 February 2021.

The sound and spelling pattern we are going to look at today is the long ‘e’ vowel sound:

Long e vowel sound

Read the article aloud to yourself, and write down any words you read that have the long ‘e’ sound. For example, the word ‘feeding’ in the first paragraph as a long ‘e’ sound. To find the article, click the link below:

Reading Activity for vowel sound spelling patterns

Remember, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know the meaning of some of the words in the text. Today we are only interested in the sound of the word.

Listen and read

Now read the article again, this time while you listen to the recording. Write down any words you hear with the long ‘e’ sound. Are the words you have written the same as when you read the article the first time?

Audio for newspaper article to practise long vowel sound spelling pattern

Check your answers with the article below.

Answers to Reading Activity to find vowel sound spelling patterns

Find the spelling

Look at the words you have written. Find the letters that make the long ‘e’ vowel sound and underline them. Check your answers.

Answers to the reading and listening activity to find correct spellings

Make a list

When you have found all the spellings, you will see that the long ‘e’ vowel sounds in the article are made up of four different spellings:

  • ee          (feeding, feel, freedom, three)
  • ea          (meat, leave)
  • ei           (protein/s)
  • e + consonant + e          (complete, even)

Find some more

Now choose your own newspaper story to read and see if you can find any more of these spelling patterns.

Kitten playing with a toy mouse

I hope you enjoyed this activity. If you’d like me to add a lesson to the blog to help you with English grammar, reading, writing, speaking or listening, email me and I’ll be happy to help.

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