English Language Arts / Phonics / Write the Room

A fun and engaging activity for students to practice short vowel sounds

Why use Write the Rooms?

Whether you teach kindergarten or first grade, a solid understanding of the alphabet letters and sounds is critical for building a strong foundation in literacy. As educators, we typically begin by teaching the short vowel sounds. Vowels are found in every word, and I like to remind my students that vowels are the glue that holds words together. I start with short vowels because they are more commonly found in the English language. For example, CVC words such as the word “cat” or “sad” contain the short a vowel sound.

If you are new to the Write the Room concept, here’s how it works. This activity is super easy to set up and will have your students up and out of their seats as they go on a word scavenger hunt around your classroom! You can use the activity for a small group or as an independent center.

Within this free download, you’ll gain access to a set of 20 Short a word cards, as well as differentiated recording sheets. Simply print the recording sheets, and print and cut apart the word cards. I like to laminate the cards for durability, but this step isn’t necessary. Tape the cards around your classroom. I prefer using blue painter’s tape, but don’t worry if you don’t have any on hand. As I place the word cards around the room, I make sure to avoid placing cards in areas where other students will be working or where I’m meeting with a small group of students. Students will move around the room and look for each word card. I’ve labeled every word card with a number in the upper left corner. This number correlates with the recording sheet that’s included within the activity download. When your student finds a card, they will read the word, and then write the word on their recording sheet according to the number on the card.

How do I use write the rooms?

When I introduce this activity, I start with 12 word cards, and then later when I use this as a review activity, I use all 20 word cards. I’ve included a recording sheet for both 12 words and 20 words to provide helpful differentiation. 


Within each recording sheet, I’ve also included an extension activity at the bottom of the page. Since your students will likely finish the Write the Room activity at different times, this is a great little extra practice. I’ve provided two different extension practice options so that you can better meet your student needs. One extension activity will have your students look at the picture and write the Short A word on the line. For an extra challenge, the second extension activity provides space for your students to write 5 complete sentences. Your students can choose five different short A words from their recording sheet to include within their sentences.



My students love when I add this activity to our centers. This easy and low prep activity is sure to get your students excited about learning. Ready to add this Write the Room activity to your literacy centers? Grab your free download here

Looking for more write the rooms?

I have you covered don’t worry!  In the Short Vowels Write the Room Bundle you will find all the short vowels. You will 20 different words in each set, differentiating sheets, and extension activities for your students. 

My students have loved these write the rooms after learning how to do the short a write the room they become pros at doing write the rooms. They know where to look for cards and where to put the words that they find down on the answer sheet. Usually after we complete short i, I’m hiding the words in different places so they have new places to look and they don’t get bored with the same places over and over again. I love also hiding them in silly places like on a bathroom door, on my desk chair , or even on the garbage can. You can check out the bundle here

Are you looking for even more free resources?

Then you’re in luck! Your next step is really easy! All you have to do is download this AMAZING (and free) back to school ebook. In the ebook, you will find so many ideas for getting your school year off to the best start, including the Short A Write the Room. The activity will get your students practicing those short a sounds and soon being able to read every short a word they see!  Every page in this ebook has a free resource you can grab and use right away! Click the picture below to grab your copy of the ebook! While you’re there be sure to enter the book giveaway! We are giving one teacher 20 different books to help build up their classroom library. I’ve included the Froggy Goes to School!  this is one of my favorite in my classroom books to read in the first week of school. 

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