Teaching schwa is always a challenge. The ‘lazy” vowel sound is first encountered in two syllable closed syllable words. Most of my students have no problem learning to read words like wagon, salad or melon. Spelling is another story! We practice lots and make it through.
The real work with schwa come with open syllables. The a and i that look open but are “uh” and “i” give us the opportunity to focus on the schwa vowel sound in unaccented syllables.
One of my very favorite resources for this work is a game I bought on Teachers Pay Teachers It’s not my own resource. I purchased it and it immediately became a favorite with all my older students. The Schwa King and the Lazy Princesses Game by Kristin Clark
Another fun game is the pizza game from Emily Gibbons The Literacy Nest. This is a free game that is part of a larger unit. Pizza Pizza: A Multisensory Phonics Game by Emily Gibbons
I have also created materials that my students enjoy. This Lazy Schwa notebook page is part of my open syllable teaching packet. In the packet, I’ve got several versions as well as reading lists and dictation words to practice the “open looking” a and i schwa. Click the link above for a free sample of my couch potato schwa.