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FREE Word Family Worksheets For Kindergarten

Our word family worksheets will help your students listen for the ending sounds in words. Perfect for Kindergarten and first grade they are engaging way to practice identifying word families. Easy to prepare and great for class work, literacy centers or to send home as extra practice. Click through and grab your set today.

This Activity Works Well With

We all want to see our students succeed in reading, right?  So, we focus on reading a lot in Kindergarten. We know that children who can isolate the sounds in a word and connect the sounds to letters are well on their way to becoming a reader. As with any skill, the children will benefit from plenty of practice.

Focusing on word families is a fun and engaging way of doing this. Once Kinders can isolate and identify sounds in words, they can begin to blend the sounds together and sound out words.

To learn more about phonemic awareness and why it is so important click here.

Today we are offering a free set of word family worksheets. Before we look at those, lets go back to basics.  What are word families and why are they important?

word family worksheets pin
Our word family worksheets will help your students listen for the ending sounds in words. Perfect for Kindergarten and first grade they are engaging way to practice identifying word families. Easy to prepare and great for class work, literacy centers or to send home as extra practice. Click through and grab your set today.

What Are Word Families?

Word families are groups of words with a common base. The word is changed by adding different prefixes (letters/words added before) and suffixes ((letters/words added after) the base.  In Kindergarten we keep these to simple words, and it is usually the beginning letter that is changed. For example, bin, fin, pin, win and tin are all part of the IN word family. The common base is the IN sound to which different letters are added.

literacy worksheets

Why are Word Families Important?

Word families are important because they help young children recognize word patterns as they learn to read. This helps students start to understand patterns and sounds. For example, if we know how to read the word “Jet,” we can simply switch the first letter sound to “N” and now we can read the word “Net,” too! Then we can go onto pet and wet. This ability to transfer sounds from word to word opens all kinds of language possibilities for young readers. It also builds their confidence and fluency as readers, so that they can experience success.  

Introducing Word Families In Kindergarten

Here are a couple of important tips

  • Start with one syllable short vowels sounds when you begin with word families.
  • Teach one word family at a time.

The best way to introduce the word family is write down the base and invite your class to brainstorm words that have the same ending. Make a list and underline the ending sounds.

Some students will pick this up very quickly. Others may suggest words with the wrong phoneme because they are still learning to differentiate between sounds. For example, a student might suggest jam when you’re looking for AN words. This means they cannot tell the difference between the AM and AN sounds yet. When this happens write the word down on a separate sheet, underline the last two letters and emphasize both sounds.

word family worksheets pin

What About Nonsense Words?

It is quite likely that students will give you nonsense words in this brainstorming session. There is nothing wrong with this. Why not encourage them to follow the lead of Dr Seuss and create nonsense words with a word family.

Remember the Yink who likes to wink? Or how about the Ying who prefers to sing?

Create columns of real and nonsense words. Play with the nonsense words and have fun with them. If you have time, talk about the meanings of the real words, and ask students to use them in a sentence.

Another thing you can do is to model how easy it is to use a word family sound and change the first letters to make new words. Large magnetic letters are good for this. So, for example you can place the letters “at” on a magnetic board. Then use different letters to make cat, mat, sat, pat, rat and bat.

word family worksheets pin

Give Lots of Hands-On Practice

Once you’ve finished the group work with a new phoneme, it is time to consolidate the learning. There are loads of hands-on activities you can do. Things like

literacy worksheets

Word Families Worksheets

Worksheets are helpful tool to have in your literacy tool kit. They are a good way

  • To practice using word families in a different way
  • Assess how well your students are doing with word families.

They are also easy to prepare. We have created a worksheet that involves some figuring out as well as cut and paste. This helps keep things interesting. They are great way for kids to work on their word family. We have 6 worksheets and each one focuses on a different word family.

  • AT word family – rat, cap mat, cat
  • IT word family – kit, mit, lit, sit, hit,
  • ET word family – jet, net, pet, wet,
  • UG word family – bug, mug, jug, hug
  • AP word family – cap, map, nap, tap
  • IN word family – bin, fin, pin, win

Each worksheet is in the same format to make things easier. Students are invited to play with each word family. They are given 6 letters and instructed to place each letter in front of the word family. This will create 4 real words and 2 nonsense word. The 4 real words are written in one column and the nonsense words in the other. Finally, at the bottom of the sheet are 4 pictures that match the real words. These are cut and pasted into the box next to the corresponding word.

Looking For More Literacy Worksheets?

Your Turn

What activities do you use to teach word families? Please leave a comment below.

word family worksheets
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