1st grade 1st Grade Language arts FREE Printables Language Arts Phonics

FREE Printable Phonics ou and ow Words Game

If your first grader is working on ou and ow words in phonics, you will live this super cute, free printable ow game! This ou and ow sounds activity is a great way to help grade 1 students learn to differentitate between ou ow words sounds. Simply print the pdf file with ow activities and you are ready to play and learn as you teach 1st grade kids to read, write, and spell!

If your first grader is working on ou and ow words in phonics, you will live this super cute, free printable ow game! This ou and ow sounds activity is a great way to help grade 1 students learn to differentitate between ou ow words sounds. Simply print the pdf file with ow activities and you are ready to play and learn as you teach 1st grade kids to read, write, and spell!

ou and ow words

Of all the syllable types, vowel teams are the hardest for me to teach. There are so many of them, and they all have different rules. Sometimes, there really aren’t rules and you just have to learn when to use each vowel team (like ey and ay both make the long a like in pray and prey). Thankfully, the vowel team we are working on today doesn’t have a lot of options and has a wonderful generalization, that works the majority of the time. Welcome to the ou and ow vowel team.

ou ow Words

Start by scrolling to the bottom of the post, under the terms of use, and click on the text link that says >> __________ <<. The ow game pdf file will open in a new window for you to save your freebie. Now print off  the no-prep cvc worksheets! These worksheets come in black and white.  

ou and ow sounds

ou and ow Sounds

Let’s start with the easy one. The vowel team “ou” is most often found at the beginning or middle of syllables. Words like ouch and ounce start with the “ou” sound and the letters ou are used. Then you have the letters used in the middle of words like in couch, or in the middle of the syllable like sur/round.

Then we move into the next rule, and you would think it would be easy. And for the most part, it is, but we have a few exceptions. The generalization states that ow is used at the end of a word or syllable. BUT, we also use ow in the following situations.

  1. When the /ow/ sound has just an n after it, it is normally spelled with ow. You can see this in words like gown and download. It is important to note that this only applies to words where the n is alone at the end of the word or syllable. Notice that count is spelled with an /ou/ because the n does not stand by itself.
  2. Along the same line, when the /ow/ sound has just an l after it, it is normally spelled with ow. Check out the words growl and howl.
  3. It is also important to notice that /ow/ is used when the next two letters are /er/ or /el/. Flower, power, vowel, and towel are some examples of that generalization.

ou ow words

ou ow Games

This game is super easy to play and is a fun way to practice when to use ou vs ow. There are also three levels, so you can choose which works best for you little one.

  1. Level one is just pictures. They can look at the picture and decide whether to use an /ou/ or /ow/. For my little one, I had her write the words on a whiteboard before she could move to that space.
  2. Level two has words spelled out with the /ou/ and /ow/ missing. All of these words are just one-syllable words.
  3. Level three is similar to level two, but the words are two-syllable words.

ou and ow words

ow Activities

To begin, have player one spin the spinner. If they land on an /ou/, they move up the board until they land on a word that uses /ou/. Of course, if they land on /ow/, then they move till they land on a word that uses the /ow/.

Player two does the same thing, and this continues until one person is able to spin the letters to spell the last word on the game board.

It is a simple and fun way to work on when to use the /ou/ vs the /ow/.

Vowel Puzzles FREE Missing Vowels Clip Cards - Help kids fill in the missing letters and practice phonics with Missing Vowels Clip Cards - a fun, hands-on learning activity for prek & kindergartners. Kids will love learning cvc words with these fun and free Short Vowel Worksheets.  With these short vowel sounds worksheets, children will learn about cvc words and the short a, e, i, o and u vowel sounds. These cvc worksheets are perfect for pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade students. Simply print short vowel worksheets pdf and you are read to play and learn!

Vowels Printables

looking for more fun vowel activities and resources to make learning to read and spell words fun? Check these out!

FREE-Printable-CVC-Word-Puzzles-Activity-for-Kindergarten-595xh FREE Reading CVC Words - If you are looking for a fun way to help kids being Reading CVC Words, you will will love this free printable activity for kindergartners! #cvcwords #kindergarten #readingClip Cards Crayon CVC WOrds Activity Make practicing reading and sounding out words fun with this Crack the Code themed, CVC Words Printables for pre k, kindergarten, and grade 1 students.

CVC word printables

Looking for more fun ways for kids to practice cvc words? You will love these FREE resoources

Phonics Ow

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About the author

Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! She has created over 1 million pages of printables to help teach kids ABCs, science, English grammar, history, math, and so much more! Beth is also the creator of 2 additional sites with even more educational activities and FREE printables - www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com and www.preschoolplayandlearn.com

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