Picture sorting is a simple and engaging way for children to learn about short vowel sounds in consonant-vowel-consonant words like cat, bed, top and cut. When they say the name of pictures out loud, children can stretch the sounds out S-L-O-W-L-Y, isolating the middle sound in the CVC words.
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I’ve created two sets of FREE sorting mats. Begin with the mats that focus on matching the pictures to the corresponding vowel sound. Then, once the children have the hang of that, move onto the short vowel mats where they can match the pictures to corresponding CVC words.
Matching the Pictures to the Vowel Sound
Then, give each student or pair of students a mat and words. Have them pick up one card at a time, say the name of the picture out loud, and place it in the correct spot on the mat.
For example, if a child chose the map card, he would say, “map, /a/” and place it on top of an A.
Matching the Pictures to the CVC Words
When children are ready for an extra challenge, print the next batch of sorting mats and cards (HERE) on cardstock and cut them apart. Again, if you’ll be using the mats in your classroom, you may want to laminate them for extra durability.
Give each student or pair a mat and corresponding cards. One at a time, have children pick up a card, say the name, and place it in the correct spot on the mat. This time, they’ll be laying the card on the matching word.
Extending the Activity
An easy way to extend the learning is to use the picture cards as a prompt for spelling CVC words. I love using mini whiteboards for this. For easy storage, I staple a zip lock bag to the back of each mat – that makes it easy to find the right pictures when you need them.
Ready to Play?
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