Phonics EAR Trigraph Worksheet

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This EAR trigraph worksheet shows nine /er/words that use the EAR phonogram. Usually the ea is said as one of three sounds of a digraph, yet there are words where this does not work. 

EAR the /er/ of early, or the /er/ of learn, is easy to remember with this little sentence:

"Her first nurse works early."

Teach the sound and then dictate the words that kids are most likely to read. Because there are only nine words on this worksheet, it is a quick and easy exercise.

Use your favorite phonics books for rules and syllabication, and then use these PDF worksheets for review. 

Print the first one two up for middle school children to have smaller lines. It makes it look like a lot less work to the kids and actually improves their penmanship.


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You model the sounds and do the dictation, then the kids practice.

Your kids will have plenty of phonics practice for

  • Phonograms, 
  • Blends, 
  • Digraphs, and More.

Printable alphabet flash cards included.




Before Using This EAR Trigraph Worksheet

A note about the word "heard". Watch your kids' faces. If they understand the new phonogram well, you might also be able to teach them that the word ear is in the word heard. 

Make the association if you do not think it will confuse them. If there's danger of confusion, wait till later to make the spelling connection.

Heart uses the letters ear, but its sound is like /ar/. If it will not confuse your kids, you can include it with this lesson; yet it is often good to wait if they are young readers.

If you want more practice, you can expand the word list by adding affixes to adjectives, verbs and nouns. This incorporates grammar, too, so you can teach, review, or reinforce two or three concepts at the same time. 

Simply add s to most plural nouns.

  • Noun: pearl, pearls (plural)

You can change the tense of verbs to add suffixes:

  • Verb: earn, earns, earned, earning

Adjectives (positive, comparative, superlative):

  • Adjective: early, earlier, earliest



Learning Phonics EAR Words

A true trigraph is three letters that say one sound. 

By adding prefixes and suffixes to these words you can create more words; yet once kids know these basic words, move to the next phonogram. There's no need to know all versions of the base words to get the idea.

Pronunciation is the key here. Kids will probably learn this phonogram sound better if you teach it on a different day from the other /er/ phonograms.

If you teach it with ea digraph words, you might wind up with confusion. It's best to keep these sounds separate. 

  1. Kindergarten EAR Words In a Large Font - K-2, print 2-up for middle school.
  2. Third Grade EAR Worksheet Small Font - Great size for grades 3-6.

Choose the size that works for your children. It's handy to have the different sizes to teach phonics to several aged children.

Teaching Phonics: Dictation List of EAR Words

When you teach the phonogram ear, dictate these words for your children to write. 

It's good for kids to practice writing the /er/ sound so they recognize it more quickly in their reading. 

Next are some simple sentences so you can teach the vocabulary of these words.

List Of EAR Words With Sentences

early – The early bird gets the worm. - early

earn – The little red hen will earn her lunch. - earn

learn – Learn your math well. - learn

search – Search for your shoes under your bed. - search

heard – I heard what you said with my ear. - heard

earth – The rain will water the earth. - earth

yearn – Yearn for the best and give it your best. - yearn

pearl – He will find a pearl. - pearl

hearse – A hearse is a fancy car at a funeral home. - hearse

Multi-syllable EAR Words:

earlier – He came earlier. - earlier

earliest – She left earliest. - earliest

earthworm – The earthworm lives in the earth. – earthworm

rehearse – The actress will rehearse her part. - rehearse

rehearsal – The actor stayed at the rehearsal. - rehearsal

heart – He sang with all his heart. - heart ❤

Interactive Phonics Worksheets

You can print these PDF printables or store them in a file for your child's phonics lessons and exercises. Whether they read the list of words, write the words, or type the words on the EAR trigraph worksheet, they'll have excellent phonics practice. 

You are also free to use them as PowerPoint presentations (PPT) in your classroom. Learn how these PDF printables are interactive here.

How To Teach Phonics With More Free Phonics Worksheets

You'll find more than forty free phonics worksheets on our main phonics page. 

I also list my favorite phonics kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade, phonics books, activities, and videos from the same page.

You might like to know that these next worksheets are available in both manuscript and cursive worksheets:

More Trigraphs And Other Letter Combinations


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All About Learning Press - How to Teach Phonics
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