Teach the Silent E With This Free Printable and Instructions


by Matt Bronsil, author of English as a Foreign Language in the Montessori Classroom

Adult reading to a child

This year, I have only first and second year students. I expected them to be able to, at best, read phonetic consonant/vowel/consonant words at the end of this year. That is fairly normal, especially considering that English is not their first language.

These students really took off. They managed to get through the Bob books I had available, and I had to order others. They are also ready for other reading activities, including silent e, or magic e. So this week, I made this for them:

Montessori Silent E Printable Open

Montessori Silent E Printable Closed

The child can read the word, then fold over the "e," and read the new word.

To make them, download the word document from the icon below. Cut each word out to equal sizes, about 3 inches x 1 inch. There should be enough room at the right of the word to fold over the paper in the middle. Downdload the file by clicking on the icon below.

Download Icon

Fold the paper and glue a letter e to the paper so it lines up to create a new word. Once it is ready, you can laminate them (open, not closed) and refold them. You may want to finish it off by adding a piece of Velcro tape to the cards, so the child can put down the e and have it stay there.

Tell the child they are going to do something new. Select a card (it is easier to start with the letter a). Have the child read the word.
Fold over the e and explain that the e will make the a say its name.
Demonstrate the sounds. See if the child can read the word from what you said.
Repeat showing as many as needed until the child understands.
If the child does not understand, they may not be ready for this particular work.

Many students do better at learning this while using the movable alphabet, which is a separate lesson entirely. But I have found that many students are ready for the reading part sooner, so you may want to begin with this if it seems the child will be more successful with this.


Matt Bronsil is the author of these posts. He can be contacted at MattBronsilMontessori@gmail.com

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