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Silent e Words

Download printable, free silent e word lists in PDF format. On this page you can find pre-generated word lists including real words and nonsense words from each of the following categories: a_e words, e_e words, i_e words, o_e words, u_e words, and VCe words with mixed vowels.

Need more lists? Generate your own free, printable CVC word lists! To create VCe word lists using our phonics word list generator, check off Silent e real words or Silent e nonsense words (or both). To specify which vowels or consonants you would like to include, click “include selected sounds” and check off the letters that you would like to include in your list.

Mixed vowel silent e word list Mixed vowel silent e nonsense word list
a_e word list a_e nonsense word list
e_e word list e_e nonsense word list
i_e word list i_e nonsense word list
o_e word list o_e nonsense word list

u_e word list
u_e word list

How can I use these silent e word lists?

Silent e words, which are also known as VCe words and magic e words, are often some of the first words with long vowel sounds that students encounter. They are often introduced in kindergarten or 1st grade, but some students continue to struggle with them even as they get older.

Silent e words can be really tricky for students, especially at first, because students are used to automatically producing the short sound when they come to a vowel, if they have been primarily practicing with CVC words or words with consonant blends or digraphs. Silent e words are also tricky because the “magic e” that changes the sound of the vowel is hidden after another consonant. This is another level of challenge for students who are used to decoding phoneme-by-phoneme, from left to right. Suddenly, they reach the end of the word and realize that their assumption about the vowel sound wasn’t correct!

All students, but especially those with learning difficulties specific to reading or decoding, need lots of practice with VCe words to be able to decode them automatically. These free, printable silent e word lists are perfect for repeated practice to develop automaticity.

These silent e word lists can also be used for assessing or progress monitoring mastery. This can be particularly helpful for RTI or reading intervention or for tracking progress towards IEP goals. It can also be a great way to quickly assess which letter sounds are particularly tricky for studen


Once students are able to fluently read silent e words in isolation, the next step is for them to read words with silent e mixed with words with a short vowel sound. Students will need to slow down and attend to the vowel sound in each word, which is a skill that students will need to master in order to correctly identify the vowel sound when reading connected text. Our word list generator can quickly create free word lists PDF with mixed vowel sounds so that your students can get the repeated practice that they need.

Why are some of the VCe word lists shorter than others?

There are a limited number of silent e real words in the English language. In addition, we have eliminated certain words from our lists. We did not include words that students were unlikely to be familiar with – the point of “real words” is that they are words that are known to the student.

Help! My students are really struggling with silent e words

Our word list generator is just what you need in this circumstance. Here is what I’d recommend:

Start by introducing one silent e vowel at a time. You might start with a_e, o_e, or i_e. Generate some real word lists and nonsense word lists including only that vowel. When students demonstrate mastery, have them practice with a mix of long and short vowel sounds with a single vowel. For example, you could do a word list with a mix of short a words and a_e words.

Continue to introduce each vowel one by one in this manner. After students have demonstrated mastery of the mix of long and short sounds for a single vowel, have them practice with all of the long and short sounds they have already learned, mixed together.

I would recommend saving u_e for last. This is the trickiest silent e sound, because long u can make two different sounds (as in cube vs. June). This will particularly trip up English language learners or students who aren’t familiar with all of the words on the list in the first place.

Students should also practice spelling the words and encountering the words in connected text, such as decodable text.

Keep in mind that there are other tricky things about silent e words besides just the vowel sound! For example, certain ending consonants can change their sound in a silent e word (think “race” or “huge,” for example). Be sure to explicitly teach these rules to students so that they know what to expect and how to decode these words!

Why aren’t word families included?

Although silent e word families have some role in teaching foundational skills for reading, particularly when working with phonological and phonemic awareness, they are not often the best vehicle for learning to read silent e words. Students can notice and follow the pattern without attending to the medial vowel or ending sound at all. The best way to learn to read VCe words is simply by reading VCe words! There are no shortcuts or tricks that will allow students to skip the hard work of learning to read!

About me!

Hi! My name is Miss Becca, and I’m an elementary school teacher in New York. Over the course of my teaching career, I’ve taught every grade from kindergarten through fifth grade. I’m certified in both special and general education, and I’ve taught students from both populations. I’ve also taught reading intervention.

I used to spend a lot of time creating my own word lists and word cards to supplement phonics programs and reading intervention programs. Learning to read is hard, and students need a lot of practice, but it was difficult to find resources targeting exactly what I needed! I created to make my own job in the classroom easier, and hopefully to help other teachers as well!

I hope you find this resource useful! Feel free to shoot me an email at beccatheteacher (at) gmail (dot) com with any questions or feedback!

P.S. – Check out my store on Teachers Pay Teachers! 😊


Email me at beccatheteacher (at) gmail (dot) com

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