Here is a list of words with the long a sound that kids can play games with. This document includes words with the "-en," "-et," "-ed," and "-est" spelling pattern.
Here is my usual routine with these words cards:
1. Cut & Cleanup (That way they have a clean playing area!)
2. Read (They practice reading each word together.)
3. Sort (Sort by the spelling pattern. They also read the word together here!)
4. Spelling Pattern Memory Game (Mix the cards and turn them over. Then try to match the words with the same spelling pattern. You have to be able to say the words correctly to keep the match!)
5. Use each word in a sentence. (They practice saying sentences and their partner will help them to make sure it makes sense. I don't have them write, but you could have them write a sentence using each one!)
I like to partner up my first graders to work on these. For word work, I like to pair high with low. Then my high kids are being challenged because they explain the tasks or spelling patterns in different ways for their partner to understand.
The tasks can be done in one day, or can be broken up into several days. I've done it both ways and change it up frequently so that they never get bored. I hope you can use these cards as much as I do!