Learning to read with automaticity takes time, patience, and practice. One of the best ways for children to explore the relationship between letters and sounds is with word building. I created this wonderful, hands-on reading activity to really kick off your fall kindergarten literacy centers with a bang!
Your students will love the colorful, fall-themed pictures and they will gain valuable skills in short vowel sounds and consonants. This is a perfect fall writing activity for kindergarten. Get the Fall Leaves CVC Word Building Mat for Kindergarten today!
Teaching CVC Words in Kindergarten:
EARLY READING SKILLS
PICTURE CARDS ARE IMPORTANT IN EARLY WORD BUILDING. THEY ALLOW KIDS TO CONNECT A VISUAL IMAGE WITH A WRITTEN WORD.
Building CVC words from pictures before writing allows children to use their senses instead of reading off of a word list.
I would introduce this activity whole group and practice it together several times. Then, I would use it as a center during guided reading. It’s okay to let them explore on their own without checking for accuracy every single time.
Kindergarten lesson plans need lots of room for practice! I would work with small groups on short vowel words regularly so I can assess each student for progress.
I made sure to include a ton of CVC picture cards with different word families for students to read. Consider creating smaller sets of word cards. Use words with the same vowel, rhyming words, beginning consonants, or other spelling word patterns you are working on.
Students will practice short vowels and work on phonological awareness in this activity. Saying each word and stretching the sounds to spell them supports phonics for kids.
Phonics for Kindergarteners
KINDERGARTEN SPELLING AND READING
DECODING WRITTEN LANGUAGE IS NO SMALL TASK! KINDERGARTENERS WILL GAIN CONFIDENCE AND MOTIVATION WHEN THEY FEEL SUCCESSFUL WITH CVC WORD GAMES.
When students break a word into individual sounds and write the letter that represents each sound, it’s called phoneme-grapheme mapping. Phoneme represents “sounds” and grapheme represents “letters.”
There are four basic steps to follow:
- Identify the picture and the CVC word’s meaning
- Stretch the word into individual sounds orally
- Use an item for each sound (finger, cube, counter, etc.)
- Identify which letter makes each sound
Why Is Phoneme-Grapheme Mapping Important?
Learning easy words to spell in kindergarten provides basic decoding practice, which will eventually lead to greater automaticity and fluency. Starting with CVC words supports foundational skills for moving on to consonant blends, digraphs, long vowels sounds, and more complex patterns.
Reading Skills Gained From Building Words
Develops Fluency: Hands-on practice breaking apart words and identifying the corresponding letters makes it easier/faster for children to decode words.
Encourages Blending: After children find the letter for each sound, they begin to practice blending those sounds back together to from words. This is a very important skill when it comes to decoding words later on!
Improves Spelling: We’re not likely giving kindergarteners a spelling list just yet. However, building words will ultimately create strong spellers because they have to attend to each sound/letter in each word.
Improves Decoding Skills: Attending to each sound in a word helps children learn to read unknown words. Regular word-building practice can instill good reading habits.
How To Use The Fall Themed CVC Word Building Activity
BUILDING WORDS WITH KINDERGARTENERS
IT COULD PROVE OVERWHELMING TO INCLUDE THE WHOLE SET OF LEAVES. START BY FOCUSING ON THE PICTURE CARDS WITH WORDS STUDENTS ARE FAMILIAR WITH, OR THE CVC WORD LIST CHILDREN ARE PRACTICING.
All you need to do is print one word building mat for each student onto white card stock and laminate them.
Print, cut, and laminate the fall leaf picture cards.
Children will draw a card and name it.
Then, they can place it in the box at the top of the word building mat.
Next, you have two choices. Using manipulatives for each sound, students will slide a counter into the box while saying each sound in the word. Then they match the sounds to letters.
When using letter pieces, children can say the sounds and place the corresponding letters in the box.
Finally, students will copy the letters onto the lines at the bottom of the page.
Other Ways To Use The Fall Leaves CVC Word Building Mat:
Some students might not be ready to connect each sound in a word with a letter. However, they can still benefit a lot by saying each sound in the word while placing a counter into the box.
Eliminate Letter Tiles
Students that become fluent word builders could skip the letter tiles and just write each word.
Just Use the Cards
Play a game with only the leaf cards! Students pick a card, name the picture, and stretch the sounds.