This story has helped elementary teachers teach vowels for years. This is my favorite version of the story:
Once there was a grandma who had five grandchildren. Their names were A, E, I, O, and U. One fall morning, Grandma decided that she wanted to think of short names for each child. She started with A. A was a little guy who loved the apples on the apple tree in Grandma’s backyard. He would stand under the tree and say, “a, a, a” (make the short “A” sound) because he could not say the word apple. Grandma decided to call him “a” (make the short “A” sound) for short and Grandma was happy.
Next came E. E had a bad habit. Whenever Grandma needed E to help out around the house, she would pretend not to hear her and say, “e? e? e?” (make the short “E” sound) Grandma decided to teach E a lesson so she cooked her famous chocolate chip cookies and asked E if she wanted one. Out of her bad habit, E said, “e? e? e?” (make the short “E” sound) Grandma called her “e” (make the short “E” sound) for short and Grandma was happy.
I was next. It was easy for Grandma to come up with a short name for I. I loved to play cowboys and Indians. He would go around the house all day calling, “i, i, i.” (make the short “I” sound) Grandma called him “i” (make the short “I” sound) for short and Grandma was happy.
O loved to eat Grandma’s cookies. She ate so many, in fact, that she looked a bit round. Whenever O smelled Grandma’s cookies, she would say, “o, o, o.” (Make the short “O” sound.) Grandma called her “o” (make the short “O” sound) for short and Grandma was happy.
Finally, Grandma needed a short name for U. U was a naughty boy. Grandma told him not to eat the apples on her tree until they were ripe, but U did not listen. He gobbled down five apples that were not ripe and got a tummy ache. He went around the house saying, “u, u, u.” (Make the short “U” sound.) Grandma decided to teach him a lesson and call him “u” (Make the short “U” sound) for short. Grandma was happy since she had short names for all of her grandchildren.
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