Engaging CVC Centers for Kindergarten


It’s an exciting milestone when students are ready to apply their letter and sound knowledge to consonant-vowel-consonant words! As students practice CVC words with each vowel sound, it’s important that they get enough practice during the school day.  This can be a challenge!  An easy way that I have found to work additional CVC word practice into the school day is during literacy centers.  In this post, I’m going to share some of my favorite activities that can be used as CVC centers for kindergarten!

Hands-On CVC Centers for Kindergarten

Young learners thrive on routine!  Just as I’m sure you used a predictable routine for teaching letters and sounds, you will want to do the same when it’s time to introduce CVC words.  Since literacy centers are driven by routine, they are naturally a great place to add some extra CVC word practice to your school day.  

Find and Mark

An important step in learning CVC words is being able to hear the medial vowel sound.  This will be a huge help to students as they learn to identify and build CVC words.

Find and mark activity cards

This find and mark activity has students find pictures that have the target short vowel sound.  As they identify each picture, they will listen for the medial sound and decide if it has the target vowel sound. If it does, they will mark the picture with a manipulative.

Word Match

When students are ready to focus on medial vowel sounds in print, this fun word match activity is a great CVC center!  Students will read the word on each card and then place it next to the corresponding picture.  In this activity, the vowels are printed in red to make it easier for students to identify the different sounds.

Matching word cards to pictures

CVC Word Building

Word building is another fun activity to add to your literacy centers!  Students can build a CVC word that corresponds to the picture on the card.  You can either have students use letter tiles to build each word or you can laminate the cards and have students write the CVC words with dry erase markers.  No matter which method you choose, students will have fun building CVC words with this center activity!

CVC word building activity with letter tiles

Play Dough Word Building

Another fun way for students to build CVC words is with play dough!  Students can improve their hand strength and coordination as they roll out play dough and form each CVC word. All you need for this fun activity are laminated word-building mats and a container of play dough!

Play dough word building

Writing CVC Words

If your students could use more practice with letter formation, you can set up a CVC center that’s devoted to tracing and writing CVC words. Use task cards that have a picture representing each word and then have students trace or write the correct CVC word. Depending on the needs of your class and your objective for this activity, you can provide word strips that have traceable letters or blank letter boxes. 

Word strips with traceable letters

Interactive Short Vowel Books

Do you work with one group of students at a time during your literacy center rotations?  These interactive short vowel books are a great option for CVC word practice during this time.  Students can practice reading and building CVC words with interactive activities. 

Short A interactive book

Some pages only require coloring and circling while others require cutting and pasting.  These books are also perfect for small group CVC practice since you can more easily support students with fine motor tasks.

Short Vowel Hats

These short vowel hats can be used at any point of the school day, but they can be a fun CVC center!  Each short vowel hat comes with five different pictures representing CVC words with that medial vowel sound.  The CVC words are written below empty boxes and students need to cut and paste the pictures into the correct boxes.  

Short vowel hats for o and a

If you’d rather not have students use scissors and glue during centers time, you could have students do all of the coloring during their rotation.  Then the hats will be prepped and ready to be cut out and assembled during a different block of time.

CVC Flashcard Games

If you have a stack of CVC word flashcards, you have everything you need for an engaging literacy center! Students can sort flashcards by medial vowel or CVC word family.  You can make the flashcard sorting even more engaging by having students sort the cards in a pocket chart.  

CVC Word Flashcards

You can also create a simple matching game by giving students multiple sets of two cards with the same medial vowel sound or two cards from the same word family.  Students can mix up the cards, place them face down, and then take turns trying to find matches.

CVC Printables

Engaging printable activities can also be a simple and effective way to add CVC practice to your literacy center rotations.  You can have individual CVC worksheets each day, or staple the worksheets into a weekly packet that students can quickly grab during centers time.  CVC printables are also a great option for a fast finisher activity when students complete their assigned center activity and are waiting for the next rotation.

Two CVC worksheets

Printable CVC Activities for Kindergarten

You can find all of the activities above (and more) in my printable bundle of CVC activities for kindergarten.  You can use these resources to enhance your literacy centers, small group practice, and whole group instruction! These activities are low-prep and easy for young learners to use mostly independently.  They are the perfect supplement to your literacy instruction if you’re looking for ways to add more CVC word practice to your school day.

If you’d like to take a closer look at these CVC activities, you can find this bundle in the Teaching Exceptional Kinders shop or on TPT.

Short vowel bundle - CVC word practice

Save These CVC Centers for Kindergarten

I hope that this post has given you some activity ideas that you can use for kindergarten CVC centers! If you’d like to come back to this post later, be sure to save the pin below.  Just add it to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest so you can quickly find these CVC center ideas!

Engaging CVC centers for kindergarten


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