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FREE Snowman Schwa Sound Reading Game

Do you know what the most common sound in the English language is? Surprise. It isn’t a short or long vowel sound. It is actually the “uh” sound., called the schwa sound. This can cause lots of frustration for our young readers, and that is what this fun schwa sound reading game is all about. Use this free printable activity as a chance to practice reading the schwa sound with kindergarten, first grade, and 2nd grade students.

Do you know what the most common sound in the English language is? Surprise. It isn't a short or long vowel sound. It is actually the "uh" sound., called the schwa sound. This can cause lots of frustration for our young readers, and that is what this fun schwa sound reading game is all about. Use this free printable activity as a chance to practice reading the schwa sound with kindergarten, first grade, and 2nd grade students.

What is the Schwa Sound?

If you have a child that is trying to sound out a word, and they have tried the long vowel sound and the short vowel sound and the word still doesn’t make sense, they probably need to use the schwa sound. Understading the uh sound, also called schwa sounds, is perfect for kindergartners, grade 1, and grade 2 students who are working on decoding words to read, spell, and write!

The schwa sound is often called the lazy sound, and is often represented by an upside down e (An e that is to lazy to sit up straight.) But all it really is an unaccented syllable that makes the /uh/ sound.

One way to begin this process is to let the children practice tapping out words. For example, have them tap out the word panda. Have them tap harder on the syllable part that is accented, and softer on the unaccented syllable. PAN/da.

Schwa sound examples

Other examples, they can type out are:

  • PRET/zel
  • WAG/on
  • a/LONE
  • a/LIVE

Once they get used to tapping it out like that, help them see that all the syllables that are tapped softly make the /uh/ sound.

schwa words

Schwa sound words

And then it time to practice reading these words. And that is where the schwa game comes in.

Schwa sound exercises

This game is incredibly low prep….which always makes me happy.

  • First, print off the game board you would like to us.
  • Next, add a spinner or use a paper clip and pencil to make a spinner.
  • Finally, Gather up two game pieces.

uh sound

schwa words

The rules are pretty simple.

  • Player 1 will spin the spinner and read the word aloud. They will then move up the board until they come to that word.
  • Player 2 does the same.
  • This continues until someone spins a word that is not in front of their game piece. At that time, they can move to the finish space, and they win the game.

Schwa sound examples

uh sound

And with that, our little ones get to practice reading four words over and over. They get to practice making the /uh/ sound in a fun way, and begin to recognize words that make this sound.

It is a fun way to work on these words that can trip up are little ones. The words that make the schwa sound.

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Phonics Game

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About the author

Rachel

Rachel is a homeschool mom to four little ones, ages 2 to 6. She is a former public elementary teacher, and has recently began blogging at her page You’ve Got This.

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