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# 1.21: Lesson Twenty-One

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

## Practice with Long and Short <a>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{a}>\end{align*} and <e>

1. Draw a line under each of the sounds below, and draw a double line under each of the letters:

[p]<p><b>[b]<t><d>[t][d]\begin{align*}\underline{[\text{p}]} \qquad \underline{\underline{<\text{p}>}} \qquad \underline{\underline{<\text{b}>}} \qquad \underline{[\text{b}]} \qquad \underline{\underline{<\text{t}>}} \qquad \underline{\underline{<\text{d}>}} \qquad \underline{[\text{t}]} \qquad \underline{[\text{d}]} \end{align*}

2. When we talk about sounds , we put them in square brackets.

3. When we talk about letters, we put them in pointed brackets.

4. When we talk about short vowel sounds, we just put them in square brackets. So the short <a>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{a}>\end{align*} sound is written [a]. And the short <e> sound is written [e].

5. But when we talk about long vowel sounds, we put them in square brackets and then put a dash over them. The dash that goes over long vowels is called a macron. So the long <a>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{a}>\end{align*} sound is written [a¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{a}}]\end{align*}. And the long <e> sound is written [e¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{e}}]\end{align*}.

6. Is the short <a>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{a}>\end{align*} sound in at written [a] or [a¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{a}}]\end{align*}? [a] Is the long <a>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{a}>\end{align*} sound in ate written [a] or [a¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{a}}]\end{align*} [a¯]\begin{align*}\underline{[\bar{a}]}\end{align*} Is the short <e> sound in them written [e] or [e¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{e}}]\end{align*}? [e] Is the long <e> sound in theme written [e] or [e¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{e}}]\end{align*}? [e¯]\begin{align*}\underline{[\bar{e}]}\end{align*}

7. Listen carefully for long and short vowel sounds in these words. Then sort the words into the groups below:

leavewentchancemakethanthreeplacebestsamelandbelievequestionthenstationshelaugh\begin{align*}&\text{leave} && \text{than} && \text{same} && \text{then}\\ &\text{went} && \text{three} && \text{land} && \text{station}\\ &\text{chance} && \text{place} && \text{believe} && \text{she}\\ &\text{make} && \text{best} && \text{question} && \text{laugh}\end{align*}

Words with ...
short <a>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{a}>\end{align*}, [a] long <a>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{a}>\end{align*}, [a¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{a}}]\end{align*} short <e>, [e] long <e>, [e¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{e}}]\end{align*}
chance make went leave
than place best three
land same question believe
laugh station then she

8. Write two other words that contain [a]: ANSWERS WILL VARY.

9. Write two other words that contain [a¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{a}}]\end{align*}: ANSWERS WILL VARY.

10. Write two other words that contain [e]: ANSWERS WILL VARY.

11. Write two other words that contain [e¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{e}}]\end{align*}: ANSWERS WILL VARY.

Word Pyramids. The following Pyramids are made up of words that contain [a], [a¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{a}}]\end{align*}, [e], or [e¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{e}}]\end{align*}:

Teaching Notes.

1. The word macron comes from a Greek word that means “long.” It is related to the macro- that is in the word macrocosm and the new computer word, macro.
2. Briefly, [a] is nearly always spelled <a>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{a}>\end{align*}. The only common words with other spellings are laugh, laughter, plaid, and the most common pronunciation of aunt. Short <e>, [e], is spelled <e> more than nine times out of ten. In a few, though often commonly-used, words it is spelled <ea>: head, bread, heaven, meadow, instead — and about fifty others. In about 80%\begin{align*}80\%\end{align*} of the words in which it occurs, long <a>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{a}>\end{align*}, [a¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{a}}]\end{align*}, is spelled <a>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{a}>\end{align*}; about 10%\begin{align*}10\%\end{align*} of the time it is spelled either <ai> or <ay>. Long <e>, [e¯]\begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{e}}]\end{align*}, is actually spelled <e> in only about 40%\begin{align*}40\%\end{align*} of the words. In another 40%\begin{align*}40\%\end{align*} of the words it is spelled either <y>, <i>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{i}>\end{align*}, <ee>, or <ea>. Long <a>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{a}>\end{align*} and long <e> both have a number of less common spellings. For more details, see chapters 18 and 9 of AES.
3. Word Pyramids. The first two Pyramids are quite straightforward; the third one is more challenging. In the first Pyramid the foundation word than contains ant, hat, and tan, which in turn contain an and at, allowing a number of different legitimate solutions. In the second Pyramid land contains and and lad and the esoteric dal and dan, all of which in turn contain ad or an, again allowing for various solutions. However, in the third Pyramid, other than the proper name Al, the only two-letter word contained in leave is el, which limits the three- and four-letter words that can be used in legitimate solutions: The useful four-letter words are alee, veal, vale, and the more esoteric lave and vela. The useful three-letter words are ale, eel, lee, and the more esoteric lea.

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