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Schwa Sound Practice Worksheets: FREE Printables

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The Schwa is the most common vowel sound in English, so students need lots of practice in order to read, spell, and pronounce words containing a schwa. Get two free Schwa Sound practice worksheets to help your students identify and spell the schwa sound in words.

Yellow graphic with title "Free Schwa Sound Worksheets" showing 2 completed worksheets.
Get these two FREE printables at the bottom of the post!

What Is the Schwa Sound?

There are some basic facts about the schwa sound that you need to know:

  • The schwa sound is the most common vowel sound in English.
  • It can sound like short U = /ŭ/ or short I = /ĭ/.
  • It can be represented by any vowel letter – A, E, I, O, U, or Y.
  • The schwa sound is heard in unaccented words or syllables, including high-frequency function words like the, a, and of.
  • The phoneme (sound) is notated by an upsidedown and italicized letter e = /ə/. You will see the schwa symbol on sound walls or in dictionaries as you look at the pronunciation of words.
Colorful graphic with bullet points titled, "All About the Schwa Sound."

Think about the first vowel sound in the word ”ago.” Notice how the letter A sound is neither short nor long.

Since it’s the vowel is in the unstressed syllable, the letter A takes on the schwa sound, sounding more like /uh/.

More Schwa Resources: Learn a ton more about teaching the schwa sound, and get our free printable schwa word lists!

FREE Schwa Sound Worksheets

Since schwa is the most common vowel sound in English, it will be important that kids practice reading and spelling words with schwa.

A printed Schwa Practice worksheet with a pencil and highlighter.

Our worksheets are designed to target three different skills related to schwa:

  1. Reading words with schwa
  2. Identifying the schwa sound within words
  3. Spelling words with schwa using a helpful strategy

Using the Worksheets

Students will use these no-prep worksheets independently, but it is advised that you model 1-2 examples together so kids can use them appropriately. All that’s needed is a highlighter and pencil.

  1. First, read the word and highlight the vowel that represents the schwa sound. (If students can’t automatically read the word, using syllable division is a very helpful strategy!)
  2. Kids will then isolate the schwa sound, circling the sound that they hear in the word – /ŭ/ or /ĭ/
  3. Finally, kids will spell the word, using their “spelling voice” out loud as they write.

Because kids should practice spelling each word multiple times, there are three rewrite lines on our practice worksheets.

Teaching Tip

📢 What is a Spelling Voice?

Spelling schwa is super tricky! Because the sound we hear in schwa words, /ŭ/ or /ĭ/, is not represented by the graphemes u or i, it naturally leads to lots of misspelled words.

So for spelling with schwa words, we recommend teaching kids to use their “spelling voice.”

To do this, we pronounce the words differently for spelling purposes only. For example, for the word ‘lemon’ you say the unaccented syllable with the actual short vowel sound: “lem-ON.”

If kids orthographically map this word enough times, connecting the sounds they hear to the letters they represent (even the irregular ones), they begin to remember the spelling:
“I say ‘lemon’ but I write “lem-ON.”

You can do this for ALL words with schwa sounds!

🖨 Download & Print

DOWNLOAD TERMS: All of our resources and printables are designed for personal use only in homes and classrooms. Each teacher must download his or her own copy. To share with others, please use the social share links provided or distribute the link to the blog post so others can download their own copies. Please do not save our files to a shared drive, reproduce our resources on the web, or make photocopies for anyone besides your own students. Your support in this allows us to keep making free resources for everyone! Please see our Creative Credits page for information about the licensed clipart we use. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our terms, please email us. Thank you!

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