Word Families

Learning to read can be a daunting task for early elementary students. In a seemingly inconsistent language, a great tool for kindergartners to have in their "literacy tool belt" is the ability to recognize reading patterns. Words that rhyme, known as word families, are one such pattern. For example:

example word family

Here are some great activities to use when introducing the concept to your students, for continued practice, and ultimately, to strengthen basic literacy skills, helping your kindergartners become confident readers - now and in the future!


Use dry erase crayons, magnet letters, or other letter markers with these fabulous word family ladders from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler. Students will practice recognizing common word endings and letter sounds.

worksheets for helping students learn about word families
Photo Source: http://confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com

Have Fun Teaching Blog provides a great series of word family printables. Use in the as a traditional worksheet, laminate the printables and add them to your literary center (with dry erase crayons), or even adapt the graphics and words to create interactive emergent reader books (like those found here at Preschool Printables).

worksheets for learning about word families
Photo Source: blog.havefunteaching.com

With this series of worksheets from Education.com, you can do the same kinds of activities! Your students will love the variety and you won't have to come up with your own practice printables!

worksheet for learning about the -ub word family
Photo Source: www.education.com


These index card word family flip charts from Quirky Momma are great for individual instruction. Create several and place them in your literary center for independent study.

homemade word family index card flip chart
Photo Source: quirkymomma.com
flower chart for learning about word families
Photo Source: www.readingrockets.org

This flower word family chart from Reading Rockets is a great way to introduce word families during group instruction. This format will keep the different groups organized and provide convenient review posters for continued use.


Your students will love this word family game from The Snail's Trail. It's colorful, easy to understand, and will allow students to practice this important concept!

homemade word family game made from recycled paint chips
Photo Source: thesnailstrail.blogspot.com
word family sorting game
Photo Source: readwritethink.org

If you have access computers, there's a great (free!) word family sorting game at ReadWriteThink. It may seem daunting to your students - working with four families at one time - so consider partnering your students up for some learning fun!

With such a variety of exercises, your students are sure to enjoy learning about word families! Be sure to visit each site for the full post, downloads, and directions!