How to Teach the oa/oe Spelling Rule


If you have been following along with our weekly blogs, you know that we have been diving into vowel teams and how to teach these phonograms.

Now, vowel teams can be tricky for students. There are several combinations that make similar (or the same) sounds, and you have some vowel teams that make multiple sounds. We wanted to share with you how we have been teaching vowel teams because we have seen this make a massive difference for our students. To check out more about what a vowel team is, and what order we teach them in, click here.

This week, we are going to dive into the oa/oe vowel teams.

We use oa/oe to make the long O sound. Think of words like boat, gloat, foe, and woe.

If we hear the long O sound in the middle of a word, we use OA. We use the key word goat to help our students remember this.

If we hear the long O sound at the end of the word, we use OE. Our keyword for this is toe.

Where students might get stuck.

Now, most words will follow the “oe” says /O/ a the end of the word rule. However, we do have some words like poet, poem, and noel where “oe” is in the middle. This is because these words follow the Lion Syllable Division Rule.

Lion Syllable Divison

A lion word is when you have two vowels touching, but instead of working together like in a vowel team, they split and each make their own sound. The word lion follows this pattern. Usually, when we have two vowels touching in a word, they will work together and say one sound. However, if we look at lion, the word would be divided right in between the “i” and “o” and we hear them both. Words like poem & poet also follow this pattern. Click on the picture to grab our Syllable Division game bundle!

You can find our OA/OE activities on Teachers Pay Teachers, or, consider becoming an Intervention Insider to get access to ALL of our materials!

Mikayla StoreyComment