Teaching Resource

Vowel Teams Sort OA, OW, and OE

PDF, Google Slides | 6 pages|Grades: 1 - 2

Decode words with “oa”, “oe”, or “ow” long “o” vowel teams using 18 picture cards with sorting mats.

Using our “oa”, “ow”, and “oe” words sorting activity, we make teaching students which vowel “does the talking” an engaging visual experience! 

To play, students will decode the words on the cards and categorize them by their long “o” sound vowel team conventions.

An answer key is included with your download for students to self-check their work. 

Sort Words by OA, OW, & OE Vowel Teams

Use this resource in your reading center, as a guided reading activity, or a whole class exercise (see below) to practice decoding words with OA, OW & OE vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.

The OA, OW, & OE words students will sort by their pictures are:

  • soap
  • goat
  • coat
  • toad
  • toast
  • float
  • bowl
  • crow
  • arrow
  • snow
  • mow
  • glow
  • doe
  • tomatoes
  • toe
  • oboe
  • hoe
  • potatoes

Scaffolding + Extension Tips 

Challenge students who already understand the concept to produce rhyming words for each word. 

Support students who need help understanding the concepts by referring them to a visual reminder of vowel team conventions, such as a poster or anchor chart

Get our 10 Best Scaffolding Strategies here! 

More Activities with Long O Vowel Teams

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

👀 Scavenger Hunt

Hide the picture cards around the room when your students are not around and put the vowel teams cards 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, read the word, and put it on the matching vowel team.

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 the vowel team cards on the table and give each player a fly swatter. Read the words off the picture cards and have the students swat the vowel team that matches the sound. The first student to swat it correctly gets the picture card aside to keep score. The student with the most wins. 

🔔 Bell Ringer Activity

Project 3 picture cards on the screen, one for each vowel team. Use our easy Sticky Note template to have students write the words in each picture and underline the vowel team that each features. You can also provide the word on the card and ask students to simply identify the vowel team. 

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. An answer key is also included with this download.

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

Team up with us for more exciting vowel team exercises to round out your lesson plans! 


Teach Starter Publishing
Published by Teach Starter Publishing
We create premium quality, downloadable teaching resources for primary/elementary school teachers that make classrooms buzz!

Comments & Reviews

Write a review to help other teachers and parents like yourself. If you would like to request a change (Changes & Updates) to this resource, or report an error, simply select the corresponding tab above.

Log in or sign up to join the conversation.

Suggest a change

Would you like something changed or customized on this resource? While our team evaluates every suggestion, we can't guarantee that every change will be completed.

You must be logged in to request a change. Sign up now!

Report an Error

You must be logged in to report an error. Sign up now!

If any of our resources do not have 100% accurate American English (en-US), simply click on the 'Report an error' tab above to let us know. We will have the resource updated and ready for you to download in less than 24 hours. Read more...


Are you having trouble downloading or viewing this resource? Please try the following steps:

  1. Check that you are logged in to your account
  2. Check that you have a paid subscription
  3. Check that you have installed Adobe Reader (download here)

If you are still having difficulty, please visit the Teach Starter Help Desk or contact us.

Contact us

More time-saving Reading Center Activities resources!

Show more Reading Center Activities resources