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Space Aces: A Vowel Combination/Digraph Phonics Game


Space Aces is a phonics game intended for reviewing vowel combinations also known as vowel digraphs such as the OO in moon or the EA in heat.. Before you can use play this game with your students, you will have to print off the following resources, paste them onto posterboard and cut them out. Note: The alien spaceships are meant to be double-sided with the words on the back and the spaceships on the front:


Resource Downloads:

Space Aces Student Spaceships

Mission Control

Progress Report

Achievement Certificate

Space Aces Game Board  


Word Families (Aliens and Other Cards):

Planet EE | Planet EA |  Planet AI | Planet OU | Planet AW | Planet OW | Planet OR

Planet OA | Planet OY | Planet IR | Planet EW | Planet AIR | Planet AR | Galaxy AY

Galaxy OO | Comet UR | Asteroid OI





The Game Basics:

Space Aces is a phonics game intended for reviewing vowel combinations or digraphs. The students choose a mission and then accomplish that mission by going to the specified planet and reading all of the words from that planet. There are six words per mission, but the teacher can easily add more if desired. The teacher places the six words face down on the desk so that the spaceship is face up. The student turns over the spaceships and reads the words one at a time.


If a student completes a mission the student writes down two of the words they read in their mission progress report and the teacher stamps the progress report. As an alternative, the teacher can put a sticker in the report or sign the report.


After the student has completed all of the missions, the student will have a final mission where one word is selected from every planet (or ten planets for a shorter test). Once the final mission is completed, the student is awarded a Space Ace Certificate.


The Space Ace board is optional. In my class, I use it to keep track of where students are. Each student gets a Space Ace spaceship card, which they write their name on and move around the planets as they complete their missions.


Making the Word Cards:

I paste the cards onto poster board so that the spaceship part is on the poster board and the word part is hanging off of the edge. Then I paste the word part onto the backside of the poster board so that I have a two-sided card with a spaceship on one side and a word on the other side.


An Alternative Use: Word Wars

I also use the cards to have word wars. I just line the alien spaceships up and give my students some Space Aces. Our two opposing fleets face each other. I send one spaceship into the middle and the students choose one spaceship to send in the middle. Then I flip my spaceship over revealing the word. If the student can read it, they win and my ship is destroyed. If they canė­?read it, my spaceship wins. This is similar to the Dolch Knights Word Wars.  




Here is a selection of phonics worksheets:

initial sounds | final sounds | vowel combinations | select patterns


Here is a selection of worksheets available for young learners:


 Young Learners | ABC Cards | ABC Mazes | Connect-the-Dots | First Words | Alpha Trains

Little Letters | Big Letters | Opposites | Bingo | Flashcards | Holiday Worksheets



All materials  (c) 2007 Lanternfish