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We spend a ton of time building words in our learning to read adventures! Making word building fun is crucial for optimum learning and to keep kids engaged. This Roll-a-Word word building activity is just that- fun!
Roll-A-Word Word Building Activity
You will need:
- Balls (pit balls are great for this)
- Dry erase marker
- White board/paper
First, write letters all around the balls. I used the purple balls for consonants and the red ball for vowels. I only used 3 balls, since we are working on CVC words at the moment. You could do longer words, just use more balls: one for each sound!
For example: Words like ‘desk’ will need 4 balls (4 sounds) but words like ‘ship’ will only need 3 balls since there are only 3 sounds: /sh/i/p/ , even though there are 4 letters.
TIP: use one ball for diagraphs/trigraphs (bl, spl, etc.) and for older kids, use other balls for variation of vowels sounds too (ai, ow, oo, etc.)
Roll the first ball. Choose a letter on that ball and write it down. Roll another ball and write that letter down as well. Finally, roll a final time and write one more letter. Use this opportunity to discuss consonant and vowel importance too!
Also, if a child build a nonsense word, use it a learning opportunity. Stretching and reading sounds in nonsense words (not real words) is an important part of learning to read and helps kids be able to “chunk” part of larger words later on. You could even make two sides of the paper, one for real words and one for nonsense words to practice separating the two.
Now blend the sounds together and say the word, then write it down.
Extend by making a sentence with this word. It can be done orally (for younger learners) or as a written sentence.
You can also play this game as a “word family” game!
Choose a vowel and an ending consonant. Write down all the words you can think of in this word family. Use the opportunity to discuss rhyming in these words too!
More extension activities:
- Use another ball with only the letter ‘s’ written on to explain plural CVCs (for older kids add the variations ‘ss’, ‘es’ etc.).
- Use another ball with only the letter ‘e’ as the “magic” ‘e’ to change words like ‘mat’ to ‘mate’.
- Focus on phoneme manipulation: change the word “cat” to ” rat” by only changing one ball (beginning sound). Or, change the word “mop” to “map” by only changing the middle ball (middle sound).
Playing with the balls can turn a simple or plain word building activity into something fun, and we all know kids learn best when they have fun!
More fun Word Building ideas:
Looking for more fun word building ideas? Have a blast with all of the different ways we make words with play dough, build CVC words with blocks, or even grab some paint samples and build and record paint chip words!
CVC MEGA Resource
For a TON of CVC activities for early readers, grab our best selling CVC word family MEGA Bundle. Inside you will find:
- fluency passages
- word building mats
- phonics poems
For each short vowel! You can check it all out at a large discount in the bundle.