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FREE Vowel Sort Worksheets: Long & Short Vowels

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Get five vowel sorts to help kids distinguish between long and short vowel sounds heard in words. Each free printable worksheet includes ten pictures to sort: Five pictures with short vowels, and five pictures with long vowels.

Five vowel cut and paste worksheets displayed on a bright pink background.

Long and Short Vowels

A, E, I, O, and U are the five vowels in the English language, and all vowels have multiple sounds called long and short sounds.

Children must know the difference between the long and short sounds that vowels make! When decoding new words, they can quickly flex between the sounds to figure out the real word.

👉 For example: When reading the word music, does mŭ/sic (short u sound) or mū/sic (long u sound) sound like the right word?

Short Vowels Sounds

  • Short A a – /ă/ – apple
  • E e – /ĕ/ – elephant
  • I i – /ĭ/ – igloo
  • O o – /ŏ/ – octopus
  • U u – /ŭ/ – umbrella

Long Vowels Sounds (Remember, long vowels say their name!)

Use our long vowel worksheets to give students more practice reading words and listening for the long vowel sounds.

Short and Long Vowel Words

A Words

  • Short ă Words: Backpack, cab, cat, rat, cap.
  • Long ā Words: Chair, rake, plane, chain, sail.

E Words

  • Short ĕ Words: Pen, hen, web, net, tent.
  • Long ē Words: Seal, cheese, bee, read, pea.

I Words

  • Short ĭ Words: Squid, pig, zip, dig, swim.
  • Long ī Words: Light, cry, knife, dime, kite.

O Words

  • Short ŏ Words: Pot, frog, hot, dog, fox.
  • Long ō Words: Hose, boat, coat, snow, bone.

U Words

  • Short ŭ Words: Sun, rug, bug, brush, nut.
  • Long ū Words: Cube, unicorn, puke, tissue, music.

Using The Worksheets

👉 Before you begin, be sure kids know the names of the pictures. The corresponding words are all listed above. Briefly review the pictures before having children complete the activity!

These worksheets are designed to practice comparing the long and short sounds that vowels make. Children look at the colorful, easy-to-recognize picture word.

Next, they identify the vowel sounds they hear in words, then cut, sort, and paste them in the correct place according to their long or short sounds!

The worksheet printed with the pictures cut and pasted in the correct columns.

Tips and Info

  • This activity is great for 1st-grade students, or any children learning long vowel sounds.
  • Print in color so kids can see the bright, beautiful pictures!
  • Extend the Activity: After sorting the picture cards, have your students try to spell the short vowel words. If you’re introducing long vowels, then they should have every skill needed to spell all of the short vowel word pictures!
Five completed vowel sort worksheets with a glue stick and scissors.

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Five printables displayed on a bright pink background with large print "Vowel Sorts" words

🖨️ Download & Print

We’d love to hear about your experience with these worksheets!
Please leave a comment below or tag us on Instagram @literacylearn.

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!


    1. Hi Ann! We’re so happy to hear you enjoyed the worksheets! Let us know if you use any of the other resources on our site! 🙂 -Katie & Laura

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