As your grade 1 students learns phonics they will run into r-controlled vowels. The concept of the bossy r can be tricky and take some time for 1st graders to master. To master these phonics ir words, we created a fun phonics game to make practicing fun. Simply print the ir phonics words to play 5-in-a-row Phonics game to play and learn!
Phonics ir Words
This low prep ir game is a great way to get children reading r-controlled vowels. I don’t know who decided this, but I wish those that wrote out the English language would have made it a little easier for our little readers. Why do we have to have so many ways of spelling the same sound?
Sometimes it is easy. If you hear the /oy/ sound in the middle of the word, you use /oi/. If it is at the end of a word or syllable, we use /oy/. But then we have these pesky r-controlled vowels. Without any rules to help our little readers, you have three ways of making the /er/ sound.
We can use /er/ to make words like in fern or helper. But did you know we can also use /ur/ to make the exact same sound. Yep, you can use that /ur/ to create words like blur or scurry. And we can not leave out the /ir/. It also makes the /er/ sound. Words like bird, whirl, and confirm use the /ir/ to make the exact same sound.
With all these different ways of spelling /er/, we have to give our little ones lots of opportunities to see how these words are spelled and read them. And that is what this ir game is all about.
ir phonics words
ir Phonics sound
This game is super simple to prepare. Simply print off the pages, and grab two Do-A-Dot Markers. If you wish to re-use the game, laminate the pages for durabilityand use two maniuplitives that are two different colors.
There are five game boards to choose from. The first game board has simple /ir/ words. Most of them are three to five letters, and all of them are one-syllable words.
The last game board moves into two-syllable words, to give your kiddos more of a challenge.
The game is easy to play.
- Player one choose a place to go, reads the word, and then places their manipultive or dots it with a do-a dot-marker.
- Player two does the same thing. Decides where they want to go, reads the word, and then covers it up.
- The players take turns reading and dotting trying to get five dots in a row. They can be up and down, across, or even horizontal. And it may be important to remind our little ones, that they can block their opponets to keep them from getting that five dots in a row.
- The frist person that succeeds in having make that row or column of five wins the game.
It’s that simple. Our kiddos get to read /ir/ words while playing a game. And in the process, begin to develop a schema for when to use /ir/ when spelling that pesky /er/ sound.
r Controlled vowel activity
- Car Bump Phonics ar Words Game – R Controlled
- er Phonics Printable Game
- 5-in-a-Row Phonics ir words Game
- Phonics or Words Tic-tac-toe Game
- R Controlled Vowel Worksheets
- Cut-and-paste Bossy R Worksheet
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
- Long ee Words BINGO – Vowel Teams Game
- 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
- Irregular Vowels Activity with Verb Sliders
- See all our Vowels activities here
First Grade Printables
If you have a 1st grader and you are looking for more fun, hands on grade 1 worksheets, games and activities to make learning fun – you will love these resources!
- Over 5000+ pages of 1st grade Worksheets
- 100 Books 1st Graders can Read Themselves with free 1st grade reading books pdf
- Lots of fun Chapter Books for 1st Graders wth free printable list
- Free Book Report Template to print and use with any book
- Free Cut and Paste Worksheets make learning FUN!
- Solar System Worksheets Pack
- Free Sight Words Printable List
- 1st Grade Word Search Printable
- Free Printable 1st grade math worksheets to print and practice
- Gumball Math Worksheets to practice addition & subtraction
- EPIC, Life-size Human Body Project with free printable template
- 1st Grade Reading Games – Reading the Easy Way 1st Grade
- Fun, hands-on Counting Coins Games
- Over 500 pages of FREE Kindergarten Writing Prompts
- Cut and Paste Sentence Scramble Worksheets
- Princess Color by Sight Word Worksheets
- Free Telling Time Puzzles make learning to use a clock FUN
- HUGE 250+ page Unit with activities, experiments, information, and Ocean Animal Worksheets
- Discover 16 amazing places around the world with these Country worksheets Study
- Crack the Code Worksheets for practicing math while having fun
- Learn about Animal printables with these free printable cootie catchers
- Fun, hands-on History Lessons for kids
- Lots of 1st Grade Science Projects
- Over 1+ million pages of Free Printable Worksheets
Before you grab your free pack you agree to the following:
- This set is for personal and classroom use only.
- This printable set may not be sold, hosted, reproduced, or stored on any other website or electronic retrieval system.
- Graphics Purchased and used with permission from
- All material provided on this blog is copyright protected.