Sunday, July 17, 2011
The Magic of Silent E
Words ending in a silent e are tricky. If I had a nickel for every time my son mispronounced them, I’d be one rich lady. To help him practice several of these words, I wrote a story about a magical wizard who leaves his trusty letter wand with a child for safe keeping. When a friend comes to play and the wand is pulled down off the child’s shelf, amazing things start to happen: a family pet turns into Pete and stuffed animal bear cub transforms into a cube.
The story has several blank boxes, into which my son had to find the right words to glue in order to complete the story.
Before my son started working on the book, we talked about how silent e changes the way letters sound, how the e in race makes the a say its name (i.e. it makes the “aye” sound, not the “ah” sound). Then, because my son desperately needs practice using scissors, I had him cut out the words he’d be gluing into the book.
He sorted the words, finding the two that matched – one without the e and the same word with an e on the end (e.g. cap and cape, hug and huge, Tim and time). He read these words and then we started the story.
I read the first page and had him write a friend’s name of his choice into the story. From then on, we read the pages together (I helped him when necessary and gave hints when he had trouble). He used the picture prompts and beginning letter clues to help choose the right words to complete the story.
When it was done, he colored the wands and wizard, told me he couldn't wait to share his new book with Dad, and hopped on the computer to play Magic “e” Adventures, a free online reading game on Fun4TheBrain.com.
Download a free PDF of “The Magic of Silent e” book and Word List I made here. Simply cut the pages in half horizontally and staple along the left side.
For another great book about the amazing transformation that occurs when words have a silent e on the end, check out “Here Comes Silent E!” by Anna Jane Hays.