Lesson plan

Word Study: Silent E is a Ninja

Are you ready to teach your kindergarteners about the super sneaky silent E? Use an engaging picture sort and catchy song to teach your students how to recognize and read words that contain silent E.
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Students will be able to recognize and read words that follow the consonant-vowel-consonant-silent E pattern.

(10 minutes)
  • Gather students together for the start of lesson.
  • Show the class the five vowels written on the board, ask them what each short vowel sounds like. Say the short vowel sounds aloud together.
  • Ask the students if they remember the second sound each vowel makes, the long vowel sound. Say these sounds aloud together.
  • Say, “Today we are going to learn about a special way we know when to use the long vowel sounds in a word, when there is a super sneaky silent E at the end. The silent E at the end is like a magic letter. it changes the vowel sound from short to long.
  • Say, “Let’s watch this short movie to learn more about the silent E.”
  • Play “Silent E is a Ninja” from The Electric Company using your classroom projector.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask the students what words they heard and saw in the movie. Review the words with the class (e.g. "cap" turns into "cape," "mop" turns into "mope," "hop" turns into "hope").
  • Explain that when there is an E at the end of a CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) word, it is called a “silent E” and makes the other vowel in the word say its name.
(10 minutes)
  • Write CVC words up on the whiteboard, some possible words: "cap," "mop," "hop," "pin," "van," "rob," "slid," "can," "pan."
  • Ask the class to say the first word, “cap,” and ask them what sound the vowel a says in the word (it makes the short /a/ sound). Ask students, “is the /a/ sound short or long, how do you know?
  • Say, “what happens if we add an -e to the end of the word “cap,” turning it into “cape” (it makes the /a/ say its name/long vowel sound).
  • Read each word aloud with the class, then add an E to the end of the word and say the new word aloud.
  • Tell the students that they will now practice listening for the silent E sound on their own.
(15 minutes)
  • Go over the Silent E Picture Sort worksheet instructions with the class and send them to work independently. *Circulate around the room and offer support as needed.


  • For students who need more support understanding the concept of the long/short vowel sounds using the silent E, you can gather a small group of students to work on the picture sort together. For additional support, continue to practice reading CVC and CVC + E words as a group (similar to the first activity). For students who are not ready for the silent E work, you can differentiate for these students with a CVC word review. In a small group, use magnet letters (or letters written on index cards) to create CVC words. Practice changing the first letter, middle letter, and last letter to blend new words.


  • For additional practice for students who quickly finish the picture sort and/or need a more challenging activity, have students work on the Silent E Word Practice worksheet.
(5 minutes)

Collect the “Silent E Picture Sort” worksheets and assess whether students were able to correctly identify and sort each picture according to its sound (long or short vowel) on the worksheet.

(5 minutes)

After the 15 minutes of independent work time has concluded, ask students to return to the rug with their worksheets. Review as a whole class showing a picture, writing the word on the board, and having students say the word aloud. Ask students to give a thumbs up if the word has a long vowel sound (and a silent E). Discuss student questions as needed. Close by saying, “if we remember that when a word has a super sneaky silent E at the end that the other vowel says it name, we will be able to read silent E words when we see them in our books or activities.

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