There’s something about unicorns that is very appealing to our young learners! I can’t say whether it’s the rainbow colors or the magic they possess, but it works! Your students will be intrigued and possibly mesmerized by these adorable unicorn graphics. Perhaps they’ll even draw on its magic to build the CVC words in the Rainbow Unicorn CVC Word Building Activity for Kindergarten. Throw together a few rainbow crafts and a science experiment or two, and you’ve got yourself a unicorn-themed unit!

– Life Over C's Rainbow Unicorn CVC Word Building Mats

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the CVC Word Building Activity

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

Learning About Kindergarten Literacy Centers:

SHORT VOWEL SOUNDS IN KINDERGARTEN
LEARNING CVC (CONSONANT/VOWEL/CONSONANT) WORDS IN KINDERGARTEN SETS A FIRM FOUNDATION FOR LONG VOWEL SOUNDS

Phonics in Kindergarten should be explicitly taught. Students need to understand the relationship between letters and sounds, and the idea that we blend the sounds together to make words.

I love building words because it’s a great hands-on way for students to explore vocabulary, letters, sounds, and blending!

Typically, I like to introduce CVC word building after I teach short ‘a.’ I teach the steps to word building as a whole class, or sometimes with small groups of students.

When I feel like most of the students understand what to do with the picture cards, I place the learning activity at the literacy center for independent practice.

In addition to practicing CVC words and short vowel sounds, students will improve phonemic awareness, letter-sound correspondence, and more!

Word building improves:

  • Vocabulary
  • Phoneme (sound) segmenting
  • Phoneme (sound) blending
  • Letter/sound correspondence
  • Word reading fluency
– Life Over C's CVC sight words with a rainbow theme

What Can Kindergarteners Learn From CVC Word Games?

TEACHING KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS TO READ
THE COLORFUL CVC PICTURE CARDS HELP CHILDREN ASSOCIATE WRITTEN WORDS WITH REAL OBJECTS.

Engaging young readers with games that draw on everything from the colors of the rainbow to construction vehicles can really make a difference.

Reading activities for preschoolers and kindergarteners should be as hands-on as possible. Students need lots of opportunities to identify the picture, say the word, stretch the word, then build and write the word.

This free printable includes many learning opportunities!

  • Children can expand their vocabularies as they explore the CVC word meanings
  • They will improve their ability to break apart each word into three individual sounds
  • Search for letters improves letter and sound recognition
  • Finally, blending individual sounds into a word is a great oral reading skill
  • If played with a partner, they will improve at taking turns and using good sportsmanship

Why Is It Important For Kids To Build CVC Words in Kindergarten?

Besides the fact that kids love unicorns and other rainbow activities for kindergarten, there are so many other reasons you should implement a word-building routine into your literacy instruction.

Creates Good Decoding Habits

When children learn right away that reading means attending to each letter/sound correspondence in a word, they will be successful later when introduced to more complex letter patterns and sight words.

Improves Spelling

A strong foundation in the phoneme (sound)-grapheme (letter) relationship leads to stronger spellers later.

Develops Vocabulary

Identifying the objects in all of the pictures can really expand a child’s vocabulary and oral speaking skills.

Promotes Fluency

Repeatedly building words that contain all of the five short vowel sounds leads to great fluency in reading CVC syllables, which also comes into play later when children begin to decode multi-syllabic words around 2nd grade or so.

– Life Over C's Free printable CVC activity

How To Use The Unicorn CVC Words In Kindergarten

WORD BUILDING IN KINDERGARTEN
TEACHING A WORD-BUILDING ROUTINE SHOULD BE EXPLICIT AND ALLOW FOR LOTS OF PRACTICE BEFORE YOU EXPECT STUDENTS TO PERFORM INDEPENDENTLY.

First, print the colorful word-building mat. I would use card stock and laminate the mats for longevity, but it certainly isn’t a requirement.

  • Print enough mats for the whole class, or for a small group, depending on how you plan to introduce the activity.

Next, teach your students your version of a word-building routine. My routine includes:

  1. Pick a star card and name the picture word, then place it on the mat.
  2. Next, say the word slowly and hold up one finger for each sound.
  3. Find the three letters that correspond to each sound and place them on the “Build it” part of the mat.
  4. Write the letters on the “Write it” lines at the bottom of the mat.
  5. Repeat with a new star card.

Children that are easily frustrated with writing letters can omit that portion of the activity.

– Life Over C's CVC word building mat with a Unicorn theme

Extend the Activity:

Oral Language Cards

Mix up all of the cards. In small groups or with partners, children can pick a card and name it, then talk about a personal connection or ask a question about the object.

Rhyming Game

Children can use the star cards for a rhyming game. Pick a card, then tell another word that rhymes with it (real or nonsense).

Vowel Identification

Mix up the star cards. Students pick a card, name it, and then name its short vowel sound. Finally, they can say the vowel’s name.

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– Life Over C's Rainbow Unicorn CVC Word Building Mats
– Life Over C's Rainbow Unicorn CVC 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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