Fun fact: Did you know that every word in English has a vowel? In fact, every SYLLABLE in English has a vowel.

So why is that such a big deal? Well, kids learn to read middle vowels in CVC words AFTER they learn to read those ending consonants.

For instance, a new reader might see the word DEN in a book and read DAN or DIN or DUN. It’ll take A LOT of practice for that middle vowel to finally stick.

But since every word has at least one vowel in it, it’s a REALLY important skill for kids to learn because it takes their reading to a whole new level. And the best way to encourage kids to practice is to make it fun…

That’s why I’m so excited to pass along this batch of Word Family Mats to you! Because each column focuses on just one vowel, kids get lots of practice reading them. PLUS, who doesn’t love playing with magnetic letters?! If you’re looking for more letter fun, snag our Word Work Games in our shop!

Getting Ready

Pulling together the center only took two minutes. (Not many activities can promise THAT, can they?!)

I just printed off the word family mats and record sheet and grabbed our basket of magnetic letters.

Since I wanted to build CVC words, I took the vowels out of the bin and placed them to the side so that they couldn’t be used.

That’s it! We were ready to play.

Word Family Mats

My first grader, Avery, pulled out a magnetic letter and slid it into the empty circle at the very top of the mat. Then she read the word out loud: TUB.

Avery continued placing magnetic letters in each empty spot, reading the words she built along the way: GUB, MUB, JUB….

Because each column focused on just one vowel, she was able to get lots of practice reading it.

When all of the circles on her mat had a consonant in them, Avery grabbed her record sheet and started writing the words in two columns: real and nonsense.

TUB was an actual word, so she wrote it in the “real” column. But GUB and MUB were not real so she recorded them in the “nonsense” column.

Once Avery had written all of the words, she read through both lists one more time to stretch her brain and then she grabbed a new mat and started all over again.

Download Your Set

Ready to practice CVC word families too?

Click the blue download button below to grab your copy and then hop over to join The Plato Pack so you can get ALL of our word family centers! 

And if you’re looking for more word work fun, snag our Word Work Games!

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    1. You are very welcome 🙂
      Hope your students love them too!
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

  1. Printed. Ready to laminate. I will use these tomorrow. Thank You!!

    1. Awesome! I hope your students love them!
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

  2. Hi Malia,
    I registered for the Reading Roadmap in the spring. I will I have access to the other 6 short vowel word family packs?

    1. You are very welcome, Savitha!
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

  3. This is one of the best ways to make your child ; learn perfect English along with the correct pronunciation of each word. It is all about where to sound as ovals and where to sound as Syllable. If the child started to learn from an early age they will be perfect with the English language which helps through getting out with the best in their studies.

    1. So glad you found this resource to be so helpful!
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

  4. Hello Malia,

    I would like to know if you could help me with Syllable work sheets and

    hands on activities.

    Thank you


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