The War Between the Vowels and Consonants, by Priscilla Turner.

New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1996.

Story Summary: Vowels and Consonants have always been enemies. Each thought they were the more important asset to the alphabet. Vowels were smug and stuck up and Consonants were strong and sassy. Although they lived in constant indifference, they never did wage battle. But one day they began a terrible war to prove who were the better letters. When the war was looking quite grim, an enemy of the entire alphabet appears. The soldiers stopped fighting and the Vowels and Consonants had to work together to fight “the terrible scribble.”

They composed words and sentences that became too much for the scribble to challenge. The Vowels and Consonants realized what could be accomplished by working together.


Students should be able to:

  • Understand reasons wars can start;
  • Identify examples of prejudice, discrimination, and stereotypes;
  • Recognize the consequences of prejudice and discrimination in a story and relate to his real life situations
  • Analyze the relationship between the Vowels, Consonants, and the evil scribble.

 Suggested Topics for Literature Circle Discussions and Responding

  • What is the main idea of The War Between the Vowels and Consonants?
  • Why does this war begin?
  • What happens when the scribble arrives?
  • How do the Vowels and Consonants work together to fight off the evil scribble?
  • If you were recruited to fight in this battle, whose side would you take; Vowels, Consonants or Y’s? Explain why you choose a particular position.

Suggested Activities

  • Begin by summarizing the war between the Vowels and the Consonants. Then write a front page article describing the war between the vowels and consonants.
  • Include interviews with the leaders and warriors from both sides.
  • Write a poem which compares the Vowels and the Consonants.
  • Use a Venn diagram to compare the Vowels and the Consonants.
  • Work in cooperative groups to create a peace treaty for the Vowels and Consonants.
    Identify the important elements that should be included in the document.
  • Plan a victory party for the Vowels and Consonants. Where would the party be held? What food would be acceptable to both the Vowels and the Consonants? List the possible party games they would play together. What entertainment and music would you select for this party? How would you decorate for the party? Use a narrative format to describe the party, then illustrate a scene from the party.
  • If The War Between the Vowels and Consonants was a movie, a musical score would be necessary. A movie soundtrack does more than just fill the time between conversations. It establishes a mood and helps the audience understand the theme of the movie. Select a
    soundtrack for this story. Play your recording for the class and explain the reason for your choice.
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