R-Controlled Vowels


Listen to this song


Teaching Tips for R-Controlled Vowels
This song is designed to be interactive. Children should be engaged in movement or writing activities as they sing.

• As children sing, teach them to write spellings in the air. For instance, teach children to make the /er/ symbol in the air as they say the /er/ sound. Next, write the “ur,” “er,” “ir,” “or,” and “ear” spellings as the song moves along. Write in the air with children, but turn your back slightly so that they can see the letters formed properly.

• When children have mastered writing sounds in the air, they are ready to write on each others’ backs. This is a great way to reinforce concepts while creating “bonding time” in the classroom. Children hear the letters, sing the letters, feel the letters, and write the letters all at the same time. My children like to make back-writing trains. The conductor writes in the air…Management advice: Let the class know that if they focus on the letters, they will be able to make more back-writing trains in the future!

• Teach the class to write sounds on white boards as the song plays. They can organize their white boards into sound categories, like this:

• Teach children that “or” says /er/ when it is preceded by “w.”

This song is a great “springboard” for spelling notebooks. On Day 1, brainstorm all the ways to make the /er/ sound. Make a class chart similar to this:

• On Day 2, choose one spelling, for instance /ur/. Notebooks may look like this:

ur says /er/

surf: 1) Surf the Internet. 2) Surf in the ocean.
fur: My dog has brown fur.
nurse: A nurse takes care of sick people.

• On Days 3-6, write about other /er/ spellings. Spend some time reviewing notebooks. Then move on to a new sound.