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Learn to Read: Vowels with R and OW

Use this story to practice these sounds: AR, OR, IR, UR, ER and OW. In this story, AR has an open A as in "star," though sometimes this spelling has a long A, as in "parent." OR usually has a long O sound as in "store," but it often reduces. When we say "this is for you" quickly, the O is barely pronounced. Also, it's very reduced in common words like "work" and "doctor."

ER, IR and UR have the same phonics sound. Basically, the vowels are silent or there is a tiny "uh" sound before the R. Note that a silent E nearby will make the vowel long and cancel this rule. Compare "fir" with "fire," "her" with "here" and "pur" with "pure." OW has a double vowel sound, as in "ouch" in this story. Sometimes it also has a long O sound, as in "snow."

Two Giraffes


1. These animals are giraffes.

2. They have yellow and brown fur.

3. There are patterns on the fur.

4. They have hard hooves .

5. They have short horns.

 6. With long necks, they see far away.

7. The big giraffe is older.

8. He moves his head forward.

9. The other giraffe is younger.

10. He curves his neck to eat.

Answer the Questions

1. What color is the fur?

2. How are the hooves?

3. What does the older giraffe do?

4. What does the younger giraffe do?

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