Fall is hands down my favorite time of year. My family and I love all things fall; colored leaves, spooky movies, apple cider donuts, and of course PUMPKINS! Anytime you can add a fun theme into learning is a sure way to get children excited about the subject matter. Incorporating pumpkin picking with reading and writing can encourage even the most reluctant early learners to play this CVC word game. 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 get a roll on your fall literacy centers for your pumpkin lesson plans!

Your students will love the colorful, pumpkin-themed pictures and they will gain valuable skills in short vowel sounds and consonants. You can pair this activity with your favorite pumpkin books for kindergarteners. Get the Pumpkin Theme CVC Word Building Mat for Kindergarten today!

– Life Over C's Kindergarten students can practice short vowels and word building with these pumpkin theme CVC word mats.

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the CVC Word Building Mat

  • Paper
  • Laminating Materials
  • Paper Cutter
  • Dry Erase Marker

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.

Practicing CVC words is often the first step toward reading! As a teacher and/or a parent It’s so exciting to see the ‘aha’ moment when children realize they can blend individual sounds to create real words.

Hands-on activities and play-based learning have always been the most successful tools for most kindergarten children. Students will use multiple senses when they build CVC words before physically writing the words.

This activity would work best introduced in a whole group setting and modeled a few times. Then, children can use the word mat with a friend, adult, or independently. The Pumpkin CVC Mat can also be placed in the literacy, writing, or discovery center during your pumpkin activities. This free activity can spark additional pumpkin writing activities for kindergarteners.

I would also work with small groups on short vowel words periodically so I can assess each student for progress.

There are a ton of CVC picture cards included with different word families for students to read. This set includes short a,e,i,o and u sound words. 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.

In addition to practicing short vowels in this activity, students will improve phonological awareness by saying each word and stretching each sound to spell it.

– Life Over C's Students complete the pumpkin theme word building activity by choosing a picture card, building the word, and writing the word.

Phonics for Kindergarteners

KINDERGARTEN SPELLING AND READING
KINDERGARTENERS THAT FEEL SUCCESSFUL WITH READING AND WRITING WILL BE MOTIVATED TO CONTINUE DECODING AND LEARNING NEW SKILLS.

When preschool, kindergarten, and older students break a word into individual sounds, then write the letter that represents each sound, it’s called phoneme (sounds)-grapheme (letters) mapping. There are four basic steps to follow for phoneme-grapheme mapping:

  • Identify the picture and the CVC word’s meaning
  • Stretch the word into individual sounds orally
  • Place a manipulative for each sound (finger, cube, counter, etc.)
  • Identify which letter makes each sound
– Life Over C's Kindergarteners will love choosing pumpkin picture cards and building the CVC words.

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. Spelling lists with CVC words form a strong foundation for moving on to consonant blends, digraphs, long vowels, and more complex patterns.

Reading Skills Gained From Building Words

Develops Fluency

Building words and understanding the concept of matching phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (symbols) helps children reading faster and with more accuracy.

Improves Sequencing

Sequencing is an important step in understanding where each letter goes in a word and where each word goes in a sentence. Sequencing is also an important concept in writing, math, science, and other academic subjects.

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.

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!

– Life Over C's To complete the pumpkin theme word building activity, students choose a picture card, build the word, and write it with a dry erase marker.

How To Use The Pumpkin CVC Word Building Activity

BUILDING WORDS WITH KINDERGARTENERS
IT COULD PROVE OVERWHELMING TO INCLUDE THE WHOLE PUMPKIN WORD SET. I WOULD RECOMMEND FOCUSING ON THE PICTURE CARDS FEATURING THE SHORT VOWELS STUDENTS ARE ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH.

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 pumpkin 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. If you want students to use manipulatives for each sound, they can slide a counter into the box while saying each sound in the word before matching the sounds to letters.

If you want them to spell the word with letters, they can say each sound and place the corresponding letters in the box.

Finally, students will copy the letters onto the lines at the bottom of the page.

Erase, repeat!

Other Ways To Use The Pumpkin CVC Word Building Mat:

Phoneme Mapping

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 from the pumpkin CVC words list.

Just Use the Cards

Play a game with only the pumpkin cards! Students pick a card, name the picture, and stretch the sounds.

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– Life Over C's Kindergarten students can practice short vowels and word building with these pumpkin theme CVC word mats.
– Life Over C's Kindergarten students will love practicing short vowels and making CVC words with these fun pumpkin theme word building mats.
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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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