Want to improve your students’ reading skills? This hands-on literacy resource for kindergarten is jam-packed with opportunities for your students to grow as readers! From the adorable picture cards to the provided letters, you will have everything you need to give your students plenty of practice with the short vowel ‘u’ words! It’s pretty much ready to go after you print and cut!

– Life Over C's Short U CVC words building cards

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the CVC Word Building Task Cards

  • Paper
  • Laminating Materials
  • Paper Cutter
  • Dry Erase Marker
  • Task Card Box

Learning About CVC Words in Kindergarten:

TEACHING SHORT VOWEL WORDS (CONSONANT/VOWEL/CONSONANT)

INTRODUCING SHORT VOWEL SOUNDS FIRST ALLOWS EARLY READERS TO ESTABLISH GOOD DECODING HABITS WITH PREDICTABLE SOUNDS.

Emergent literacy includes a ton of foundational skills, like phonological and phonemic awareness, letter sounds, writing skills, and more.

Because we’re working on so many skills, it helps to give students as much hands-on practice as possible with reading and writing.

I love teaching CVC words because the sounds are predictable and they allow children to practice those consonants at the same time.

The CVC ‘u’ word cards included in this free printable are listed by word families:

  • bud
  • mud
  • bug
  • jug
  • hug
  • mug
  • pug
  • tug
  • rug
  • bun
  • fun
  • nun
  • sun
  • bus
  • cub
  • nub
  • sub
  • tub
  • cup
  • cut
  • hut
  • nut
  • gum
  • tux
– Life Over C's Playing a short U CVC game on the tablet

What Can Kindergarteners Learn From Word-Building?

early literacy in preschool and kindergarten
USING CVC WORDS WITH PICTURES HELPS CHILDREN BUILD VOCABULARY AND CONNECT WORDS TO REAL OBJECTS.

Building short ‘u’ words also improves:

  • Phonological and phonemic awareness (manipulating sounds in words)
  • Vocabulary
  • Letter/sound correspondence
  • Word blending fluency
– Life Over C's Short U cvc word building cards

Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn The Short ‘u’ Sound?

Although this free CVC word-building activity focuses on short ‘u’ words, your students will simultaneously improve a wide range of literacy skills.

Vocabulary: The colorful pictures provided are a great activity in itself! Students can talk about each CVC word’s meaning and draw personal connections using oral language.

Fluency: Blending practice builds fluency. When children get repeated practice on the same vowel sound, they will begin to blend the words with more ease. As they are introduced to other vowels, consonant sound fluency continues to grow.

Decoding: Decoding the English language is no simple task! Word-building gives children the necessary repetition and predictable decoding they need to succeed later with long vowel patterns and sight words.

Blending: Early childhood education teachers might agree that blending sounds into words is a bit of an art! Children need lots of practice with this tricky concept. These word-building mats allow for that meaningful practice over and over again!

– Life Over C's Tub CVC word game

How To Use Short ‘u’ CVC Word Cards

BUILDING WORDS WITH KINDERGARTENERS
TEACH THE STEPS TO WORD BUILDING EXPLICITLY, SO LATER WHEN YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE VOWEL SOUND THE STUDENTS STILL KNOW WHAT TO DO!

All you need to do is print the word building mats. Then, cut the letters off of the bottom of each page.

If desired, laminate each letter as well as the word picture cards. You can leave the picture cards at two per page, as printed, or you might slice those in half as well so children have one word at a time in front of them.

Teach the following word-building procedure to students:

  1. Pick a card and identify the picture.
  2. Stretch the sounds in the word by pointing to one box per sound (or place a counter into each box for each sound).
  3. Identify each letter that corresponds to the three sounds in the word and place one letter in each box.
  4. Point to each letter and say each sound.
  5. Blend the sounds into a word and “Say it fast!”
  6. Repeat!

Children can also write the words they build on a whiteboard for handwriting practice.

Organize all of your short vowel word-building materials by placing them in small containers/freezer bags/photo boxes by the vowel sound. This will help keep everything ready to go at the literacy center.

– Life Over C's Spelling short U cvc words with printable cards

Extend the Activity:

Phoneme Segmenting

Use the mats without letters while students are still learning how to stretch the sounds in words. Instead, have students place a counter/small eraser/pompom into each box while saying each sound orally.

Rhyme Sort

Sort the picture cards into piles by word endings. Students can pick a card, say its name, and place it with other words that sound the same at the end

Concept Sort

Get kids thinking critically by creating categories to sort the pictures into. Maybe, “Things You Eat vs. Don’t Eat,” or “Living vs. Nonliving,” etc. Students will have fun trying to decide where (or if) each object should go.

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– Life Over C's Short U CVC words building cards
– Life Over C's Short U CVC words building cards
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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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