I remember watching those English look and read TV series on the BBC when I was at school (gosh is that showing my age); ones like Geordie Racer and Through the Dragon’s Eye, I remember they always had sections of it devoted to the magic E. I know teachers today have moved away from calling it the magic E, but I still find it a really effective way to teach children which sounds they need to say in a word.

For those of you who were never taught the magic E way, it is the silent E or split digraph that you find at the end of words like care, cape, fine, huge, slope, twine etc. It changes the short vowel sound to a long vowel sound. When I explain this concept to children I have found the magic E the most useful way of teaching them this process. My explanation goes something along the lines of:

“When you find a word that ends in an E, we call it a magic E word. The E jumps over the letter next to it and bops the vowel on its head. When it does that, it changes the sound of the vowel from a short sound to a LONG sound such as this “a” to an “ay” sound. After it has bopped it on the head, it loses all its power and you no longer say the “e” sound.”

To help grasp the concept further we made magic E wands to use while reading.

You will need:

To make the wand cut out a circle/star shape from your piece of paper and tape it to your craft stick/straw. Finally write an E on the cut out shape.

I have included a downloadable magic E worksheet that you can print out and practice with.

EC practicing his magic E words.

EC practicing his magic E words.

You can also use it while your little ones are reading, then when they come across a magic e word they can use their wand as prompt to help them remember the rule.  Of course there are always, like every rule, exceptions to this.

Make sure you follow our reading board on Pinterest for more ideas.

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Make Magic E Wands to help children learn about and identify words that have silent Es at the end of it. There is a free downloadable pdf worksheet to go with this activity.