Magic E Words – VCe Syllables

Magic E words are used in teaching phonics to describe a word that has a vowel followed by a consonant and then a silent E at the end (e.g, “tape). The silent E, or “magic E,” often changes the pronunciation of the preceding vowel from a short sound to a long sound. For example, in the word “cake,” the A has a long sound because of the silent E at the end. Another example is “bite,” where the I has a long sound due to the silent E. The magic E rule helps young learners understand the relationship between vowels, consonants, and the silent E in forming the pronunciation of certain words.

Magic E words have a vowel / consonant / E syllable pattern in which the first vowel is long, and the final vowel E is silent. There is always a consonant sound between the first vowel and the final letter E. This pattern is a learner’s first introduction to reading long vowels in words. Long vowel sounds are the same as the letter name of the vowel, a e i o u.

When teaching this skill to early readers, educators will often call the final E a magic or king E. This is because the role of the final E in this word is to indicate that the vowel sound before it is long, not short. We can mark words to show learners this by identifying the types of letters: consonant, vowel, consonant, E. It is also important to indicate that the final E is a silent letter. It is important to note that the pattern does not change when there is a digraph or blend in this word, such as in the word “chime”. The pattern still is recognized as a long vowel I sound and a silent E sound at the end.

1, K
CCSS Standard
Reading: Foundational Skills, RF.2
NGLS Standard
Reading: Foundational Skills, RF.2

Magic E Words Printable Activities