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Step 5: Regular Vowel Teams (& Long Vowel Chunks Detour)

Regular vowel team poster. ie, ai, ay, oa, ow, oe, ea, ee, ie, ey
Regular Vowel Teams
Regular vowel team pyramid poster. ie, ai, ay, oa, ow, oe, ea, ee, ie, ey
Regular Vowel Team Pyramid
ea has three sounds: eat, bread, steak
ea has 3 sounds

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Regular Vowel Team and Long Vowel Chunks Definitions:
VV stands for Vowel, Vowel, which is the Vowel Team syllable. Here we are learning the regular Vowel Teams, which are ie, ai, ay, oa, ow, oe, ea, ee, and ey. In step 9 we will learn the irregular vowel teams which are oo, oi, oy, au, augh, aw, ui, ue, ew, ou, and oe.
Long Vowel Chunks are specific combinations of a vowel(s) and consonants where the vowel consistently says its name even though it is most often a closed syllable. Some examples are igh, ang and old. See detour in yellow box below.

Teaching Videos and Written Stories

Regular Double Vowels
AE and the Pyramid

Written Stories

  • AE and the pyramid teaching story
  • AE and the pyramid teaching story FLIP UP ACTIVITY (Use this to retell the story and practice the sounds.)
  • Alternate story: (no video) After watching the e help his vowel friends say their own names, the vowels want to help too.  The vowels figure out that they can be much braver when a friend runs up and holds their hand and encourages them! So when it is possible, a vowel runs up to a vowel friend before a consonant gets there to trap him into a closed syllable.  If the vowel gets there fast enough he will hold his vowel friend’s hand and whisper: “you can do it – you can say your name!”  The first vowel becomes brave enough to say his own name. This story is fun and easy to act out as suggested in open, closed and magic e syllables.

PowerPoints and Google Slides PowerPoints for teaching short vowel words CVC Google Slides Icon

For the formatting of PowerPoints to be correct, click FILE, then DOWNLOAD, and download in Microsoft PowerPoint.

Teach Along the Way with Regular Vowel Teams Teach along the way with short vowels


Teach and add the relevant sounds/flashcards (ie, ai, ay, oa, ow, oe, ea, ee, ey, ui, ue) from the Big Sounds Pack to daily practice.

Some VV Explanations:

y and w are not vowels since they can not say their own names but they do work with vowels in regular vowel teams ay, ow and ey.

When we see two vowels next to each other often they are “holding hands” making one sound.
—-In regular vowel teams (ie, ai, ay, ue, ui, oa, ow, oe, ea, ee, ey) the sound is almost always the first vowel’s name. Except:
– –ie usually says long /ē/. The i begged “I want to go first, I want to go first” and the silly e agreed to let the i go first, as long as the e still got to say it’s name. ie only says long /ī/ in a few short words like pie and die. This is why “ie” is in the top row saying /ī/, and also in the bottom row saying /ē/.
– ea is our messed up vowel team and can say long /ē/ (meat), long /ā/ (steak), or short /ĕ/ (bread). Usually it says long /ē/ as in meat.
– ow says long /ō/, but in Step 9 we learn is also says /ow/ as in down.
—-In irregular vowel teams (step 9 – oo, oi, oy, au, augh, aw, ui, ue, ew, ou, ow) vowels come together to make completely new sounds.

Occasionally a word is split between 2 vowels and they are in different syllables like the word diet (dī/ĕt, open syllable /dī/, closed syllable /ĕt/ ) and fluid (flū/ĭd).

-ey says the long /ā/ sound in 10 reasonably common words: they, convey, obey, hey, survey, prey, purvey, whey, osprey and the English spelling of the color grey (in the USA it is spelled gray).

Long Vowel Chunks Detour! Detour


Long Vowel Chunks (also found in “Teach Along the Way” ➜ “Long Vowel Chunks.”) Here you will find materials to learn and practice the long vowel chunks. Add new flashcards from the Big Sounds Pack to your daily practice.

Long vowel chunks -ang, -ank, -old, -igh, -ind, -oll, eigh, -olt, -ild, -ost
Long Vowel Chunks

Tips Tips

Vowel Team Pyramid

We often hear the phrase “when two vowels go walking the first one does the talking.” This only happens around 50% of the time. The vowel teams taught in this section are the ones where the first one says it’s name. The rest of the vowel teams are in step 9.

NOTE: ui and ue both say the u’s nickname /oo/ (as in blue), but are not included in many of the stories and visuals since they are taught in Step 9.

Map Sounds to Letters

Map the sounds in the word to the letter(s) representing the sounds, even if it is not a letter combination that has been taught yet. Only an unusual sound/letter combination needs to be remembered “by heart.” Mapping the sounds to the letters is how we remember what words look like. See example below:

Map Sounds To Letters examples

Be sure to reinforce what you know and are learning about words, for example:
Schwa Sound: Any vowel might say /ŭ/. Point out that this happens in many common words like: the, of, was, some, from…

Key and Directions for Materials Key

Blue Heart: Beginning, grades K-1K-1 Beginning
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-21-2 Growing
Pink Plus: intervention, challengeIntervention/Challenge

Bundle: Multiple types of materials (games, activities, stories…) bundled together.
Pack: Multiple pieces of the same type of material, for example a pack of books.

Directions for everything else:

More on the Directions Page

Sample Bundle

Sample Bundle contains samples of the stories, games, lists, flashcards, fluency pyramids, activities, spelling and more you will find in the practice section below.

Practice Reading Practice Practice Reading

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