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 winter kindergarten literacy centers with a bang!
Your students will love the colorful, winter-themed pictures and they will gain valuable skills in short vowel sounds and consonants. Get the Winter Snow 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! It’s so exciting to see the light bulbs shine when children realize they can blend individual sounds to create real words.
Physically building CVC words from pictures before writing them ensures students use multiple senses rather than just 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 independently 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 periodically 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.
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
DECODING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS NO SMALL TASK! KINDERGARTENERS WILL GAIN CONFIDENCE AND MOTIVATION WHEN THEY FEEL SUCCESSFUL WITH CVC WORD GAMES.
When kindergarten and 1st grade 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
Hands-on practice breaking apart words and identifying the corresponding letters makes it easier/faster for children to decode words.
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.
More CVC Word Resources:
Grab these CVC Word activities for fun whole-group activities, small groups and independent beginning reader activities for your kindergarteners!
Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning ReadersLearning Resources 3-Letter Word Puzzle Cards, Kindergarten Readniness, Self Correcting Puzzles, Ages 4+, MultiThinkFun Zingo Word Builder Early Reading Game – Award Winning Game for Pre-Readers and Early ReadersWooden Reading Blocks |  Sets of Fun, Educational Spinning Alphabet Manipulative Blocks for Children w/ Easy-Grip Handles | STEM & Montessori Approved Toy for Pre-Kindergarten Boys & Girls GiftTeacher Created Resources Word Shark: Short Vowels Game (7805), MulticolorAIVANT 80 Words Self-Correcting Spelling Puzzle for Three and Four Letter Words with Matching Images,Perfect for Preschool Learning (40 Blocks Double Sided)
Materials needed for Winter Snow 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
- 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 Winter CVC Word Building Activity
BUILDING WORDS WITH KINDERGARTENERS
IT COULD PROVE OVERWHELMING TO INCLUDE THE WHOLE SNOWBALL 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 snowball 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 Winter Snow 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 snowball cards! Students pick a card, name the picture, and stretch the sounds.
Our Favorite Snow Theme 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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SnowSnow (I Can Read It All By Myself)Little Owl’s SnowHow to Catch a SnowmanSnowmen at NightTen Sparkly SnowflakesLearning to Ski with Mr. Magee: (Read Aloud Books, Series Books for Kids, Books for Early Readers)Snow BirdsTen Ways to Hear SnowSneezy the SnowmanThe Snowy DayThe MittenThere Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow!