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!
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.
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
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
Building words and understanding the concept of matching phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (symbols) helps children reading faster and with more accuracy.
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.
More CVC Word Resources:
Grab these CVC Word activities for fun whole-group activities, small groups and independent beginning reader activities for your kindergarteners!
Materials needed for Pumpkin CVC Word Building Mat:
Get the Supplies Here:
Don’t worry about making a special trip to the store. You can get all the supplies for this activity right here.
- Card stock (optional)
- Laminating materials (optional)
- Paper cutter or scissors
- Letter sets (magnetic/paper/foam, etc.)
- Manipulative (counters, small erasers, etc.) *optional to use for stretching the sounds in each word
- Dry erase markers
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.
Other Ways To Use The Pumpkin 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 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.
Our Favorite Pumpkin Books:
We can’t live without these!
Once your child’s creativity is sparked with this fun activity, take it a step further with these engaging resources:
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Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie (Picture the Seasons)Too Many PumpkinsDuck & Goose, Find a PumpkinThe Berenstain Bears and the Prize PumpkinSplat the Cat and the Pumpkin-Picking Plan: Includes More Than 30 Stickers!Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a GardenHow Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow?Ready for PumpkinsThe Poky Little Puppy and the Pumpkin Patch (Little Golden Book)Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin PatchFrom Seed to Pumpkin (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1)How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? (Mr. Tiffin’s Classroom Series)Apples and PumpkinsThe Biggest Pumpkin Ever