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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Level two has words spelled out with the /ou/ and /ow/ missing. All of these words are just one-syllable words.
- Level three is similar to level two, but the words are two-syllable words.
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/.
looking for more fun vowel activities and resources to make learning to read and spell words fun? Check these out!
- Missing Vowels Clip Cards are a fun way for kindergartners and first grade students to practice adding in the missing vowel sounds
- Practice adding short and long vowels to word with these no-prep Vowels Worksheets
- Practice matching vowels sounds to clipart with these puzzles featuring Kindergarten Vowels
- Make practicing FUN with this cute short vowel games or use this long vowel games
- Grab these super cute CVC word puzzles free printable
- Handy Long Vowel Sounds Worksheets
- MIssing Sound Clip Cards Vowel Activities
- Practice adding short a words with this cut and paste activity for kids
- Long a vowel clip cards
- Short e words printable book for practicing adding the e vowel
- Cut and Paste short i words mini book
- Short i words Printable sight word reader for kids to practice reading short i words
- Cute Bunny Short i words puzzles are a fun way for kids to practice listening for the short i sound in words this spring!
- Work on short o words with this cut and paste booklet for kids to read, build, and write
- Cut and paste short u cvc words printable book for practicing adding the u vowel
- Printable vowel activities for kindergarten
- Free Printable Short Vowel Worksheets
- See all our Vowels activities here
CVC word printables
Looking for more fun ways for kids to practice cvc words? You will love these FREE resoources
- Short o Words cvc Cut and paste Printable
- Short i cvc worksheets cut and paste pdf
- Short E CVC Words Booklet
- Short a CVC Word Book
- CVC Words Activity with bricks
- 25 Fun CVC Activities
- CVC Middle Sounds Clip Cards
- CVC Word Puzzles Free Printable
- Crack the Code CVC Words Printable
- Crayon CVC Words Activity
CVC worksheets for kindergarten
- Reading Words Free CVC Printables
- Short a words Reader
- Caterpillar CVC Word mats
- Snowman CVC Words Activity
- Western CVC Words Activity, CVC Tracing Strips, Build a CVC Word – Construction Theme
- BUMP! CVC Words Game
- Christmas CVC Words Printable
- Planting Carrots CVC Activity for Kindergarten
- Secret Decoder CVC Word Activities
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