5 Ways to Use Little Books for Kindergarten Word Work

As kindergarten teachers, we know how important it is for students to have the opportunity for daily word work.  These activities help students develop both phonemic awareness and phonics skills, laying the foundation for them to become successful readers. With so many options circulating online for kindergarten word work, it can be difficult to narrow it down to the best options for your students.  There is one low-prep resource that provides consistent word work practice all year long: Little Books. In this post, I want to share many of the different ways that you can use little books for kindergarten word work.

Why Little Books Are Perfect for Word Work

Little books are one of my favorite ways to incorporate word work throughout the daily literacy routine. There are several reasons why this particular activity is a great option for kindergarten word work:

  • Low-Prep: Little books are a great way to get more letter and word practice into your routine with minimal prep time.  Just print, fold, and go!
  • Versatile: There are many ways to use little books for kindergarten word work.  They are perfect for literacy centers, small group practice, morning work, or even to send home for additional practice. You can choose the best way to add this resource to literacy practice in your classroom.
Five short vowel printable books fanned out on a desk
  • Routine: Each set of little books has a predictable pattern, which helps students successfully complete the word work activities with minimal directions and reminders. Independence is always a big win in kindergarten!
  • Engaging: Little books contain a variety of activities to add necessary repetition in an engaging way.  Plus, you can easily add engagement to word work by adding bingo daubers, highlighters, markers, and more! Kindergarten students are always so excited to take their completed little books home to share what they’ve learned with their families.
  • Individualized: Little books can easily be individualized to best support each of the students in your classroom.  If you have a student who needs more practice with a particular letter of the alphabet or word pattern, you can select little books that will provide that additional support.

If this sounds like something you could use in your classroom, keep reading!  There are many different phonics skills and word patterns that your students can practice with this low-prep and versatile resource.

5 Ways to Use Little Books for Kindergarten Word Work

One of the best things about little books is that they can grow with your students as they learn more literacy skills throughout the year.  Here are just five of the literacy skills that your students can practice using word work printable books.

1. Mastering the Alphabet

Little letter books are a great way to start the school year with word work!  Your students can use bingo daubers, stickers, or even torn paper to decorate the letters on the front of the book.  The variety of activities in each book will help students practice identifying and writing each letter of the alphabet as they also explore letter sounds.

2. Identifying CVC Word Families

Colored pages of a short vowel word family little book

When your students are ready to read CVC words, little books provide engaging practice with word families.  Each foldable book focuses on a short vowel word family.  As students complete the activities in the book, they will begin to notice patterns in spelling and rhyme.

Students begin by reading each word using the guidance of a picture clue.  Then they use a crayon to color all of the words in the word family. Finally, they practice reading the CVC words within sentences. This is a great way to help students become more confident and fluent readers!

3. Exploring Blends and Digraphs

Your students can also practice reading words with blends and digraphs using little books.  Since students are familiar with the pattern of these books, you can make small changes to the word work practice to keep them engaged in reading blends and digraphs.  For example, you could cover the pictures on the word identification page with sticky notes to encourage students to try reading the word first.  Then they can lift the flap to see if they were correct! This is a fun addition to your phonics practice that can keep students excited about reading.

Pages of an -ate word family book

4. Learning About Long Vowels

Is your class ready for long vowel practice?  Little books are perfect for that, as well!  Each book focuses on one CVCe word family.  As in the other little books, students will practice reading words in isolation and within sentences. 

In order to make sure that your students are decoding instead of memorizing the order of the words and sentences, you can encourage them to read from the top down and then from the bottom up.  

5. Practicing Sight Words

Finally, little books are perfect for practicing writing and reading sight words.  The layout of these books provides students with plenty of repetition that will help them increase their sight word reading fluency.  Students are always so excited to show their families how well they read their little books!  Since each classroom has a different method and sequence for teaching sight words, I have created an editable version that teachers can use to focus on any additional words they choose.  

Kindergarten Word Work Printables

Would you like to incorporate little books into your kindergarten word work? To save you time and money, I have created a bundle of Word Work Little Books that you can use with your kindergarten class all year long!  

From alphabet practice to sight words, these little books are a low-prep word work option that your students will love! They are perfect for literacy centers, morning work, or even sent home for extra practice.  If you’d like to see all of the skills your students can practice with this resource, you can click below to find it in my shop.

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5 ways to use little books for kindergarten word work