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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
They say that Christmas is the most magical time of the year, and there’s nowhere that this is more true than in your kindergarten classroom. It’s that sweet spot for children between not truly understanding what Christmas is all about and becoming jaded and only obsessed with the gift part of the holiday. They will spend the month of December humming Christmas tunes and talking about Santa and his reindeer, so you need to make sure that your academic sessions are filled with Christmas activities to make the most of this fascination. These cute middle sound games for kindergarten are perfectly timed as most students in your room will be ready for sound and letter substitution work at this point in the year.
What Are Medial Vowels?
Having a flexible knowledge of short vowel sounds will make your students better readers as well as more efficient writers. These most commonly appear in the middle of words which is why they are referred to as medial vowels. In CVC words, the medial vowel always makes the same sound which is why kindergarten reading standards focus on the CVC middle vowel as a way of helping students sound out words and building their “word attack” skills.
Preparing CVC Christmas Games
These full color middle sound games for kindergarten can be printed two or even four to a page to make a small deck for each student. Be sure to laminate them if you plan to do any of the extension tasks so that students can reuse them throughout the holiday season.
Extending CVC Christmas Reading
These middle sound games for kindergarten are simple to set up; simply print off a full set and you have one of your Christmas activities center ready to go. As your students master the short vowel sounds by choosing the right letter for each CVC word, you can use some of these extension activities to develop their skills:
Read all the variations – for a bit of seasonal fun, have students read all the possible variations out loud (e.g. for c _ t, they would say cat, cet, cit, cot and cut). They will laugh at the nonsense words and start to recognize some other words that they know. This will develop their spelling skills as they repeatedly hear each CVC middle vowel.
Write out the words – learning short vowel sounds is a first step on the way to being effective spellers. Have students work in partners. One person reads the target word out loud while their partner listens to the sounds and writes it out. They can then compare answers and celebrate each other’s success.
Sort the deck – grouping words by spelling patterns helps students to see commonalities amongst words. Give students a completed deck of medial vowels cards and have them sort them firstly by the vowel, and then by their first and last sounds. Challenge them to repeat this task as quickly as they can.