Oh, those pesky Silent E words. They’re one of the first big challenges for emergent readers. Whether you call it Silent E, Magic E, Sneaky E, or Super E, an E at the end of the word changes things in so many ways. It can affect pronunciation as well as meaning and even add another syllable to a word. Mastering words with Silent E takes time and practice, so use our free printables with your students as you try some of the activities below.
Silent E Word List
These free Silent E Words printables include common three-letter words, four-letter words, and longer words with a Silent E.
Three-Letter Silent E Words
ace, age, ale, ape, ate, bye, cue, die, doe, due, dye, eke, eve, eye, foe, ice, lie, lye, owe, pie, roe, rye, sue, toe, use, woe
Long A Four-Letter Words
babe, bade, bake, bale, bare, cage, cake, came, cane, cape, care, case, cave, dare, date, daze, face, fade, fate, fake, fame, fare, fate, faze, gale, gate, gave, gaze, hare, hate, have, haze, kale, lace, lake, lame, lane, late, made, make, male, mane, mare, mate, maze, name, nape, pace, page, pale, pane, pare, race, rage, rake, rare, rate, rave, raze, safe, sage, sale, same, sane, save, take, tale, tame, tape, vane, vase, wade, wage, wake, wane, ware, wave
Long E Four-Letter Words
cede, here, meme, mere, mete, we’re, we’ve
(Note that there just aren’t very many silent E words with a long E sound.)
Long I Four Letter Words
bike, bile, bite, dice, dime, dine, dire, dive, fife, file, fine, fire, hide, hike, hire, hive, jive, kite, lice, life, like, lime, line, live, mice, mike, mile, mine, mire, nice, nine, pile, pine, rice, ride, ripe, side, site, tide, tile, time, tine, tire, vile, vine, vise, wide, wile, wipe, wire, wise
Long O Four Letter Words
bone, bore, code, coke, cone, cope, core, cove, doze, fore, hole, home, hone, hope, hose, joke, lobe, lode, lone, lore, mode, mole, mope, mote, node, nope, note, poke, pole, pope, pore, robe, rode, role, rope, rose, rove, sole, tore, tote, vote, woke, wore, wove
Long U Four Letter Words
cube, cure, cute, dude, duke, dune, fume, huge, lure, mule, muse, mute, nuke, pure, rude, rule, sure, tube
Longer Silent E Words
adore, blame, blare, brave, bride, calculate, close, clothe, crane, crime, cupcake, dance, drive, evoke, extreme, fable, fleece, fluke, flute, frame, gauge, goose, grace, grate, grave, grove, handle, hence, loose, moose, orate, plane, scene, skate, slate, spite, state, stove, stripe, tadpole, whine, wrote
Silent E Rules for Pronunciation
Source: Latoya Burrows on Pinterest
Silent E is known for “making the vowel say its name,” and that’s one of its most important jobs. But that final E has other pronunciation effects on words too. Here are some to teach your students.
1. Silent E makes the vowel before it long
Examples: Think CVCe words like cap vs. cape or mop vs. mope. There are also a handful of 3-letter silent e words where it changes pronunciation, like do vs. doe.
2. It makes C and G soft
Examples: Dance, wage, or stage
3. Silent E makes TH soft
Examples: Bathe, soothe, or lithe
4. When it appears with an L at the end, it adds a syllable to words
Examples: Bundle, simple, or handle
See more ways that Silent E can affect words at All About Learning Press.
Activities and Ideas for Teaching Silent E
These Silent E activities, songs, and videos will help your students master this challenging concept.
Vintage Silent E
Here’s a throwback to share with your kids! Tom Lehrer wrote this one back in the 1970s for The Electric Company, but the message (and the song) are just as relevant today.
Silent E is a Ninja
For a more updated take on Silent E videos, try this clip with Lin-Manuel Miranda, also from The Electric Company. Silent E is definitely sneaky!
The Mighty Silent E Read-aloud
This read-aloud tells the story of Silent E, as he learns just how special he truly is.
The Bossy E
Here’s one more Silent E video, this one starring the Bossy E!
Wave the Magic E wand
Play off the idea of “Magic E” with these fun Silent E wands! Add it to the end of CVC words and watch the magic happen.
Learn more: Playdough to Plato
Go on a word hunt
Send kids on a word hunt through a book, magazine, or newspaper to find Silent E words. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the “oddballs” that don’t fit the rules.
Learn more: The Measured Mom
Hang a Sneaky E anchor chart
A colorful chart like this one will look terrific hanging in your classroom, and it will help students remember how the sneaky Silent E works.
Learn more: Emily Education
Add a sticky note
This is such a clever anchor chart! Add a sticky note Silent E to each word to see how the sound changes (and sometimes makes a whole new word).
Make Silent E flip strips
These smart strips demonstrate the power of a Magic E. Have kids write their own on paper strips, or buy a set from Tickled Pink in Primary.
Line up and add an E
Get students up and moving with this fun activity. Make your E sparkly for extra impact!
Learn more: For the Love of First Grade