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Word Sorts for Short Vowels

Word sorts are an excellent way to deepen spelling skills. They are embedded in our word fluency units and the spelling warm-ups. Some students will need additional practice to master spelling patterns, and word sorts are a perfect way to help!

This post has two types of short vowel word sorts:

  1. Basic short vowel word sorts
  2. Short vowel word sorts with -nt, -nk, and -nd

Basic Short Vowel Word Sorts

Basic short vowels are commonly taught in grades k-2. Students in the beginning stages of spelling need to master short vowels, and there are many 3rd- and 4th-graders who continue to develop short vowel spelling skills.

You can use the basic short vowel words below. Elementary students see them frequently in reading. They also come from 2nd- and 3rd-grade Dolch sight words:

2nd-Grade Short Vowels

  • best
  • fast
  • its
  • off
  • sit
  • us
  • wish

3rd-Grade Short Vowels

  • cut
  • got
  • hot
  • if
  • much
  • pick
  • six

Students should sort the words above based on vowel spellings. They should also find more words in their readings with short vowels and add to the list.

Basic Short Vowel Word Sort

Basic Short Vowel Word Sorts for 2nd Grade

Short Vowels with -nt, -nk, and -nd

These short vowels are a little more difficult for many students. Often the accent of the local region can influence how the student hears (and pronounces) the vowel. This impacts spelling, and word sorts are critical to helping struggling spellers decipher these short vowels.

Short Vowel Words with -nt

  • bent
  • slant
  • tent
  • until

Short Vowel Words with -nk

  • blank
  • drink
  • think
  • unkept

Short Vowel Words with -nd

  • blends
  • candy
  • handle
  • husband

Sorting these words will be a little trickier. Some of the words have two vowels, so there may be more than one way to sort. Here’s an example.

Short Vowels with -kt, -nk, and -nd

Short vowel word sorts are critical for struggling spellers.
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