Sunday, January 20, 2013

Reading Color Words - Building Activity

Building, constructing, and reading....ahhhh teaching boys! I love it! Much of the materials to reinforce the reading of color words often include visual cues that don't allow me to know for certain that Caleb is really recognizing the word. So, I designed a simple game that includes building patterns using Unifix Cubes. The key to this game is that the student cards don't have any color on them, just the text (all lower-case). Then after they construct their structure, they can pull out the key and self-check. The best aspect of this is that they don't need help. This would be a great center activity!   

Reading Color Words Activity: Building Blocks to play, read, and self assess: from

Three Levels of "Reading Color Words" cards: Word student cards, and colored answer keys for easy self-check: from

To align with the Common Core Standards for kindergarten, we have been working on spelling our color words. I’ve decided to work on colors in pairs. Working on two colors at a time, is working well for us. I chose to pair up the following:

Red & green
Purple & yellow
Blue & orange
Black & white
Pink & brown

How the Levels of the Reading Color Words Activity are Organized

Level 1: 2 colors             Cards A-J
Level 2: 3-4 colors          Cards K-T
Level 3: 5+ colors           Cards U-DD

Then within each level, each card is lettered, and the cards get progressively more difficult.

This Reading Color Game was designed to be flexible. While the levels are dependent on the number of colors on each card, even a child who can read 4 colors can move onto level 2. 

Here is an example of how I introduce the cards. I teach colors in pairs and therefore use the following cards for reinforcement and even assessment.

Level 1: Card A (red/green pattern)
Level 1: Card B (red/green pattern)
After the child has learned red/green we move on to yellow/purple

Level 1: Card C (yellow/purple pattern)
Level 1: Card D (yellow/purple pattern)

Then I use some of the level 2 cards that integrate the previously learned colors with the new colors.

Level 2: Card K (yellow, green, red)
Level 2: Card L (yellow, green, red, purple)

Boy doing the Reading Color Words Activity:

Differentiating Instruction

There are many ways to make this game fit a wide variety age and ability children. It is also a game that might be able to span the entire year, depending on how long you spend on teaching the reading of color words!  Here are just a few of the ways to increase the difficulty in the cards:

  1. Have one card set out with only the color cubes needed.
  2. Set out cards with the colors the child needs + 1 color 
  3. Set our cards with the colors the child needs + 2 colors etc....
  4. After students self-check their work against the answer sheet, have write the color words on a piece of paper. 

Reading Color Words Activity: Using Colored Cubes:

Reading Color Words Activity: Using Colored Cubes:

Organizing the Reading Color Words Activity into a File Folder

I chose this colorful file folder to hold my activity. In the download, I include this graphic that you can use for the cover of the folder. 

Reading Color Words Activity: File Folder Cover:

In addition to the cover graphic I made additional labels for the game pieces and for the answer keys.  I laminated the envelope, used Velcro closures, and dressed it all up nice and pretty into a file folder. I organized my file folder with envelopes to put all three levels in the same folder. However, if you wanted you could have 3 folders, one for each level. 

Reading Color Words Activity: Organizing a File Folder:

I'd never laminated envelopes before, but it worked great. You laminate the envelope with the flap open. That's right, its useless until you cut it open. I placed the envelope on a cutting board, carefully lined up a ruler and cut right on the line where the back of the envelope meets the back of the envelope. Its actually easier than you think. I went over it lightly several times, and it seemed to do the trick. Then, the make the flap fold again (it will prefer to be open after being laminated), I use a bone folder (white item in the photo below). First I line up the ruler along the original fold and use the sharp edge of the bone bolder to make a crease. Then carefully fold the flap down, and use the curved edge of the bone folder to make the crease crisp.      

Reading Color Words Activity: Laminated Envelope Tips:

Boy using cubes to show he knows his color words:

What is Included in this Download

  •  6 student sheets (white/black), five columns per sheet for a total of 30 cards, divided into three levels
  • 6 colored answer sheets, also five columns per sheet.
  • Student directions 
  • Graphic for cover of the file folder
  • 6 labels for the playing cards and answer keys.   

I'm offering a sample of the game you can download for free, both here and at my Teachers Pay Teachers.  This activity in its entirety is available at Teachers Pay Teachers ($1.50).

Kindergarten, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education, Homeschooler -

This activity aligns well with my other color activities I’ve shared! If you like this, go check out: my Matching Color Pictures to Color Words post from last fall. 


  1. This is awesome! You come up with such great activities.

    1. This says it was posted by my son, but it's really me-Amy N :)

    2. Ha, Thanks for the complement and the explanation, I didn't know who Joshua was!



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