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!

– Life Over C's Snowball theme CVC Word Building Mat kindergarten literacy center. Choose a snowball with a CVC word picture on it, build the word with alphabet magnets, write the word with a dry erase marker.

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! 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.

– Life Over C's Snowball theme CVC Word Building Mat kindergarten literacy center. Choose a snowball with a CVC word picture on it, build the word with alphabet magnets, write the word with a dry erase marker.

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
– Life Over C's Snowball theme CVC Word Building Mat kindergarten literacy center. Choose a snowball with a CVC word picture on it, build the word with alphabet magnets, write the word with a dry erase marker.

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: Hands-on practice breaking apart words and identifying the corresponding letters makes it easier/faster for children to decode words.

Improves Spelling: 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.

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!

Materials needed for Winter Snow CVC Word Building Mat:

  • Printer
  • 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
– Life Over C's Snowball theme CVC Word Building Mat kindergarten literacy center. Choose a snowball with a CVC word picture on it, build the word with alphabet magnets, write the word with a dry erase marker.

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.

Erase, repeat!

Extend the Activity:

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 who 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.

Do you love this activity?

Pin it for later!

– Life Over C's Snowball theme CVC Word Building Mat kindergarten literacy center. Choose a snowball with a CVC word picture on it, build the word with alphabet magnets, write the word with a dry erase marker.
– Life Over C's Snowball theme CVC Word Building Mat kindergarten literacy center. Choose a snowball with a CVC word picture on it, build the word with alphabet magnets, write the word with a dry erase marker.
join the newsletter & Get your free activity

Get Your Free Printable Winter CVC Word Building Mat Here!

Already a subscriber? No worries. Just enter your email here to have the activity sent directly to your inbox.

Need more activities? More Themes?

Get even more CVC Activities!

Check out our always growing collection of CVC Word Activities!

More Activities You’ll Love:

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. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *