What Is Phonics?   •   Early Reading   •   Phonics WorkSheets   •   ABC Phonics Sounds   •   Phonics Program   •   Home

Vowel O and the Short /o/ Sound

Teaching Vowel Sounds With Worksheets

The letter "O" is the 4th vowel of the English alphabet, and like all vowels, it has a "long" and a "short" sound. The "long O" sounds like "Oh", while the "short O" sound sounds like "Awe". So how do you know when the vowel O makes an "oh" sound or an "Awe" sound? It's actually fairly simple, and this is determined by a writing convention know as the silent E, where an ending "E" makes the preceding vowel a long sound.

For example:

MOD - short O where it makes the /awe/ sound

MODE - long O where it makes the /oh/ sound

However, to keep things simple and avoid confusing young learners, we always teach the short sounds of vowel first, and introduce silent E and long vowel sounds later on.

So here, we will only teach the short O vowel sound which sounds like /awe/. Example words:

COP - /c/ /o/ /p/

BOT - /b/ /o/ /t/

Learning Activity for /o/

  1. Show the letter O and explain that it makes the "awe" /o/ sound. There's no need to introduce the long "oh" sound at this point, and it's also not necessary to tell your child that "awe" is the short O vowel sound. It'll just add confusion.
  2. Have your child repeat the "awe" sound several times.
  3. Let's say "awe" and stretch it out, say /o/ "awwwwwe".
  4. Work on the /o/ sound with the word list provided above.
  5. Point to letter O and ask your child what sound does this make? And see if your child can think of any other /o/ sound words.
  6. Work on the worksheet provided below.

Letter O Worksheets



Letter O Rhyme and Song

My name is Bob,

and I'm Bob the frog!

I'm Bob the frog,

and here's my sock!

Here's my sock,

and it hangs on a clock!

My sock hangs on a clock,

and the clock sits on a block!

Hey, that's my block,

and I'm Bob the frog!