Resources › For Educators R-Controlled Vowel Words for Word Study Share Flipboard Email Print CC0 For Educators Special Education Reading & Writing Applied Behavior Analysis Behavior Management Lesson Plans Math Strategies Social Skills Inclusion Strategies Individual Education Plans Becoming A Teacher Assessments & Tests Elementary Education Secondary Education Teaching Homeschooling By Sue Watson Education Expert Sue Watson is a developmental support counselor who has worked in public education since 1991, specializing in developmental services, behavioral work, and special education. our editorial process Sue Watson Updated July 12, 2019 The vowels that are controlled by 'r' are often difficult for children to learn. All too often, learners are taught the 'long and short' vowels and the learner then has no idea what to call words like: cord, far, bird, taller, dirt. Reading or basal texts will often offer individual lessons rather than systematic instruction in using the r controlled vowels. Word building activities will help support students to recognize word patterns, such as changing the first letter or letters in the r controlled vowels, i.e. change car to far and far to jar, etc. by listening for the initial sound. This is why we need to focus on the 44 sounds in spelling instead of just the consonant sounds and long and short vowel sounds, which is what teaching spelling is really all about. Here is a sample of great word study words to use to help learners learn the patterns and anomalies of some of the R-controlled vowels. Activities to Build Decoding Skills With R-Controlled Vowels Word Building: Using individual letter cards and small personal pocket charts, have students build r controlled words from the list below, modeling the first word and then dictating the next words, for examples: more, store, pore, chore - bark, park, lark, stark, etc. Word Sorting: This is an especially good activity for r controlled sounds that can be made in different ways, such as the or in oar, store, floor, door, etc. Silly Poems: Give students a set of r controlled words and have them write silly rhyming poems, such as: heart, smart, chart, part, start. Jim made a picture of a heart And put it on the classroom chart. Oh please, don't let me start . . . Jim thinks he's just so blessed smart! Word Cards for the Word Wall You can print the word cards below and have the students physically sort the words by putting Velcro or magnets on the back of words to sort. You could also use word families that are already prepared, which involve cutting out the words and pasting them into the correct column. Do the word sorts in small groups, or make it an activity in a reading center that two or three children can complete together. The sound of 'ar' as in car: are bar car far jar scar dark mark lark park jar shark stark remark The sound of 'air 'as in stare, care, fair: bare care dare glare fair share tear pear square stare share beware prepare The sound of 'or' as in pork, board, award: cork fork pork stork born corn form horn torn for four award bored board cord ford lord sword ward adored toward The sound of 'ir' as in bird, heard, skirt: bird word herd heard preferred heard third occurred dirt blurt shirt squirt skirt concert desert dessert alert The sound of 'r' as in fatter, taller, longer: butter better hammer shutter spider mother father easter earlier flower power older younger slower faster longer shorter bigger taller Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Watson, Sue. "R-Controlled Vowel Words for Word Study." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/r-controlled-vowel-words-3111063. Watson, Sue. (2020, August 27). R-Controlled Vowel Words for Word Study. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/r-controlled-vowel-words-3111063 Watson, Sue. "R-Controlled Vowel Words for Word Study." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/r-controlled-vowel-words-3111063 (accessed June 17, 2021). copy citation Watch Now: Should You Use A, An or And?