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Reintroduce the VCe rule

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Activity Type: Reintroduce
Activity Form: Standard
Grade: K, 1, 2
Group Size: Small Group, Whole Class
Length: 4 minutes
Materials: Optional: CVC/CVCe index cards (print them here)
Goal: Given a printed word ending vowel-consonant-e, say the word ( VCe-word -> "VCe-word" )
Items: mad, made, hat, hate, plan, plane, scrap, scrape

What to do

  1. Write the word mad on the board in letters at least a foot tall (or use these index cards).
  2. Who can sound out this word? Mmmaaad, mad. Add an e to make made. Now sound this word out with me. Remember the magic rule: the e stays silent but it makes the vowel say its name. Cover up the e. Which letter here is the vowel? Right, the a. Uncover the e. So instead of /a/, the a says its name: /ā/. So sound out the word with me: mmmāāād, made.
  3. Now you try. Erase made and write hat. Sound out this word. Students: haaat. What's the word? Students: hat. Now add the e. Now sound out the word. Students: hāāāt. What's the word? Students: hate. Right! Hate.
  4. Watch for students who don't get it. Walk them through the rule on their own, modeling for them if necessary. If a student continues to have trouble, make a note in an Activity Log and move on.
  5. Continue with plan / plane, scrap / scrape. Try to give all the less accomplished students an individual turn.


  • It's important that students sound out words when they are first learning the VCe rule, else they may just learn to recognize the words and fail to learn the rule.
  • Some teachers like to define or give example sentences for words that students may not know (eg, “If you really really don't like cabbage, you might say you hate it.”) Other teachers worry that this may overload students and prefer to focus on the VCe rule.
  • For a list of practice words—CVC words that can be changed into another word by adding eclick here.

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