Sunday, April 25, 2021

Mother Vowel Stories

 When I started teaching 1st grade in 1971 in the classroom where I was a 1st grader, I was next door to a 1st grade teacher who was there when I was in first grade.  She was a wealth of information for this brand new teacher.  One of her "trade secrets" she shared with me was the Mother Vowel stories.

Over the years I have developed my version of the stories and have incorporated sign language.  I have found this reinforces students' memory of the sounds.  Following is my retelling of the Mother Vowel stories. © Jill Edwards Steeley


Mother Vowel Stories

               Once upon a time there was a lady named Mother Vowel.  She had five children, named A, E, I, O, and U. 

               All their friends had short names.  Jonathan was Jon, Gracelyn was Grace, Patrick was Pat, Elizabeth was Beth.  Mother Vowel’s children wanted short names too.  They begged and begged and begged their mother to have short names too. Finally, she told them. “Okay, I’ll think about what each of your short names should be.”   Her children cheered!

Short ă Story

               Mother Vowel’s youngest child had just learned to walk but couldn’t talk yet.  Each time she toddled into the kitchen, she would look up toward the cabinet to see if she could see an apple.  Apples were her favorite food.  She loved apples!

               Every time she saw an apple, she would get excited and make her hand into the shape of sign language a.  She put the tip of that thumb at the corner of her mouth and twisted it back and forth while she said, “ă, ă, ă.”

               Little A did this so often Mother Vowel decided “ă” would be her short name, like ă ă apple.

Short ĕ Story

               Mother Vowel’s next oldest child was a boy named E.  His favorite food was eggs.  He loved eggs.  He loved scrambled eggs, fried eggs, boiled eggs, deviled eggs, and even eggnog.  He wanted to eat eggs for breakfast, eggs for lunch, and eggs for dinner.      

               Whenever he asked for eggs, he always made a signal with his hand.  It looked a lot like a cracked egg.  He made a sign language e and said, “ĕ ĕ eggs.”  So, Mother Vowel told him this would be his short name.


Come back tomorrow for the rest of the stories.


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