Teaching Resource

Vowel Sounds Parking Lot Game

PDF, Google Slides | 3 pages|Grades: 1 - 2

Learn to differentiate long and short vowel sounds with this set of vowel cards and picture game board.

Where would we be without vowels?

Hmmm. Let’s try that again and see…

Whr wld w b wtht vwls?

I don’t know about you, but I think we should be glad we have vowels, and happy to practice using them! 

🚗 Park Your Way through Short Vowels & Long Vowels 

Use this resource in your reading center, as a guided reading activity, or a whole class exercise (see below) to practice distinguishing between long and short vowel sounds.

To play, students will identify the vowel sound on the card and find the matching picture to fill the parking lot.

Long vowel cards:

  • ā
  • ē
  • ī
  • ō
  • ū
Short vowel cards:

  • ă
  • ĕ 
  • ĭ 
  • ŏ 
  • ŭ 

Scaffolding + Extension Tips 

Challenge students who already understand the concept to create a list of rhyming words for each word on the board. 

Support students who need help understanding the concepts by using a vowel sounds poster or anchor chart as a visual reference. 

Get our 10 Best Scaffolding Strategies here! 

More Ways to Practice Short Vowels & Long Vowels

Use this resource as independent practice for fast finishers and full-class learning opportunities like scoot activities, lesson reviews, formative assessments, and more.

🔍 Scavenger Hunt

Hide the vowel cards around the room when your students are not around and put the picture card in the center of the room. Then set your students loose! As soon as they find a piece, they bring it up to the picture card, identify the image that matches the vowel sound, and put it on the picture. NOTE: You may want to make a rule of only 1 student at a card at one time. If not, things could get a little crazy. 🤪

👋 Swat! 

During small group instruction, lay short and long vowel sound cards for 1 vowel at a time on top of a table and give each student a fly swatter. Read a word from the gameboard that uses either the long or short vowel sound shown on the table. The first student to swat the correct vowel sound card sets it aside to keep score. The student with the most cards wins. 

🏃 Relay Race

Print off 2 game sets, split the class into 2 teams, and have them line up in their group on either side of the room. Lay the game boards in a central location between teams. Shuffle and give each group their own set of vowel cards, placed face down at the front of their line. When you say, “Go!,” the first player in each line will grab a vowel card, run to the other side of the room, and place it on a word with the matching vowel sound. Then they’ll run back to their group and tag the next person in line, who will grab the top sorting card, run to the other side of the room, and place their card where it belongs. The team that has their cards played in the correct order first wins.

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Print on cardstock for added durability and longevity. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access. 

Before You Download

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or Google Slides version of this resource. 

This resource was created by Lindsey Phillips, a teacher in Michigan and Teach Starter Collaborator. 

Snag these activities now and consider your vowel lesson planning done! 


  Common Core Curriculum alignment

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