Begin teaching long vowels after a child understands short vowel sounds, or when the child consistently spells consonant-vowel-consonant words correctly. Introduce each of the long vowel sounds individually. Provide the child with worksheets, and other activities to aid in learning and remembering the sound of each letter. After the child understands the first long vowel sound, begin teaching the next sound, and continue until all the long vowels are consistently remembered.
Before teaching long vowel sounds, teach the child that sound blends and digraphs occur at both the ending and beginning of words. Also, teach the child the rules for reading "r" patterns. The "r" pattern includes words that have a vowel followed by the letter r, such as the words air, fur and car.
One method to teach short vowels includes comparing consonant-vowel-consonant word with words that have silent "e" at the end. For instance, the words "mad" and "made" are compared to illustrate the phonetic differences between short and long vowels.
Allow children to read stories that are based on long vowel words, such as Bob Books or another appropriate set of phonics-based readers, to illustrate their understanding of long vowel sounds. When reading to the children, have them indicate recognition of long vowel sounds by raising their hands when a word with a long vowel sound is spoken.