Reading rules can be so complicated. Playing with the “magic e” that transforms the word (or the “bossy e” that tells the other letters what to do) adds a bit of fun!
The silent e can be played with to magically change a vowel from short to long (tap to tape) – this is the “magic e.” Sometime we also call it the bossy e, because it tells the vowels to “say their name.” The e is tricky, and of course, doesn’t always make the vowel say it’s name (like “have”). But you have to start somewhere, and before getting into all the ways in which e is used, kids typically start with its “magical” nature.
Making the Magic E
(affilate links used below)
Of course, we needed our magic e to be very magical (or, in other words, use lots of glitter!). We painted the craft sticks with glitter glue
We focused first on actual words that changed into other actual words when the magic e was used. I also used simple consonant-vowel-consonant words that would be simple to sound out.
As the kids decorated their magic e sticks, I wrote out a list of the words. Then we applied the e and -magic!- changed the word completely!
I usually start with about 4 words, and then increase it to about 10 words once they get the hang of it. I base that entirely on what’s worked with my kids. I wanted it to be enough that they are getting some practice in, but not enough so that they are frustrated — or bored! Words we’ve played with are:
- tap- tape