Science of Reading Literacy Center Ideas for Kindergarten

Literacy centers are an important part of a kindergarten classroom and should engage students in meaningful practice and application. Giving students hands on practice during literacy centers will provide time to meet with small groups and encourage student growth in reading, writing, and phonics. We have some fresh Science of Reading literacy center ideas for kindergarten to include in your rotations. Check them out below!

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Science of Reading Literacy Center Ideas for Kindergarten:

#1 – Smash It Word Mapping

Students “smash” Play-Doh to map words in this interactive phonics center.

Materials Needed:

  • Word Mapping Mats
  • Play-Doh
  • Picture Cards
  • Dry Erase Markers

Students choose a picture card that goes along with a phonics skill you have explicitly taught. We love using the picture cards included with Simply Kinder’s word mapping sets, but any picture cards that match specific skills will work. Grab your Word Mapping Bundle HERE at Simply Kinder and have picture cards for each skill you introduce.

Students use Play-Doh to create little balls as they map the word. They smash the Play-Doh balls as they segment and blend the word together.

Students then graph the sounds and write the word.

#2 – Draw & Pass

This center is similar to the game Telestrations and will easily encourage smiles and giggles.

Materials Needed:

  • Small notepads or notebooks
  • Word Cards
  • Pencils and Crayons

Students work with a partner for this activity. Each student has their own notepad and drawing utensils to complete this game.

Students choose a word card from skills you have covered. These can be written on notecards or printed. They read the word and draw a picture to match the word in their notepad.

Partners swap notepads and look at what their partner drew. They will write a word to match the picture.

Partners then swap notepads back and see if their partner was able to correctly guess their picture. This center encourages segmenting, blending, fluency and encoding.

You can include a word bank for students to reference when making guesses.

#3 – Silly Sentences Center

Students will use color coded cards to create silly CVC sentences with this literacy center. This center is great for students to understand the structure of a sentence, practice sentence writing, and to decode/read CVC words.

Materials Needed:

  • Simply Kinder’s Silly Sentences Center Set – Grab your set HERE.
  • Binder Rings, 3-tiered drawers, or pocket chart for organizing.

Students will choose from color coded and numbered cards (subject, verb, prepositional phrase) to build a silly sentence on a work mat.

Accountability sheets are included so students can record their sentences once they are created.

You can include all the cards from the set or add cards as you introduce isolated short vowel sounds.

Organize the cards into drawers for students to choose from, place specific short vowel cards on binder rings, or display cards on a pocket chart.

#4 – Sound Wall Center

It’s important to revisit your sound wall daily. Make the sound wall part of your literacy rotations to enhance the importance of reviewing unlocked sounds and spelling patterns.

Materials Needed:

  • Personal Sound Wall
  • Mini Mirrors
  • Grapheme Cards
  • Mouth Articulation Photos
  • Phoneme Cards

There are many options with this center, and you can mix it up to meet the needs of your students.

Use the mini mirrors and mouth articulation cards for students to practice forming each sound. They can watch their mouth in the mirror. Student can also work with a partner for mouth formation practice. Students choose a mouth articulation card and form the sound while their partner identifies the correct sound.

Students can match phoneme (sound) cards with the graphemes (spelling patterns) they have unlocked on a pocket chart.

Student can choose a grapheme card and create a list of words using that spelling pattern.

Students can use their personal sound wall print outs as a reference when visiting this center.

Grab everything you need for this center in Simply Kinder’s Sound Wall Bundle HERE!

#5 – Sight Word Center

Include a center for students to work with sight words. Materials for this center will vary depending on what you choose to include. Some ideas for activities are below.

  • Kinetic Sand Stamping – Students use foam letters to stamp sight words into kinetic sand.
  • Dot Sticker Words – Students build sight words using dot stickers.
  • Lego Word Building – Students build words using large Lego blocks with letters written on them.
  • Pom Pom Words – Students use tweezers and pom poms to build sight words.
  • Magnetic Letters – Students build sight words using magnetic letters on a cookie sheet or other magnetic surface.
  • Sensory Sight Word Bins – Use sand, rice, sprinkles, etc. on trays or in bins for students to trace sight words.

Pair any of these sight word center ideas with Simply Kinder’s Sight Word SoR Activity Bundle found HERE.

Students will enjoy these engaging centers ideas! Don’t forget to check out Simply Kinder + HERE for tons of literacy center activities and more!


Try out some FREE Letter M with REAL mouth photo activities in your literacy centers as part of Simply Kinder + printable membership here! Learn more about Simply Kinder + and join here now!

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