R is one of the most common consonants in English. Getting to grips with it is vital to learning language, even at a very early age. Teaching R words for kids means helping them grasp core linguistic concepts early and improving their overall development.
Words That Start With R For Kids
Preschool/Kindergarten Words That Start With R
We've chosen simple, vivid words for your youngest learners. Our R words list in preschool and kindergarten are meant to evoke clear images and memories from your students. For kids who aren't reading yet, the most important consideration in vocabulary is simply linking the idea of a spoken word with written text.
- Race: A contest of speed
- Rain: Water falling from clouds
- Rat: A small mammal with long front teeth and a hairless tail
- Red: Color of sunset and cherries
- Rest: Sleep or relaxation
- Rich: Having lots of money
- Roll: To move by turning over, like a wheel
- Room: An indoor space for living in
- Run: To move faster than a walk
- Rush: To hurry
Our letter R activity for preschool and kindergarten students is all about making visual and tactile connection with sound. We've developed a trace-the-letter activity for your youngest students so that, even before they're reading and writing, they have a clear image and a literal feel for the letter R.
1st Grade Words That Start With R
Our focus at the first grade level is simplicity. If students already know these words, all the better. It's important for them to feel comfortable as they make their first attempts to read and write.
- Rage: Intense anger
- Real: Not false, actual, a fact
- Rent: To pay to borrow something
- Rice: Grains or seeds of a grass used as food
- Right: Something to which everybody is entitled
- Rise: To move upward
- Road: Flat paved path for walking, riding or driving on
- Roof: Top of a building
- Rope: Thick cord made of twisted strings
- Rug: Cloth covering of a floor, often decorated
Connecting words with images is still crucial for your budding readers. Encourage them to draw what rage might look like, or give them pictures and let them pick out rugs, roofs and ropes. Reading and writing are all about connecting spoken language to reality.
2nd Grade Words That Start With R
Your 1st grade students might have already known a few of the words on that list. Your 2nd graders are all but guaranteed to. That's a good thing. At this age level, we stress reinforcement. Many kids get their idea of whether they're "good" at reading or writing around this age. These words have been chosen to give opportunities for positive feedback and help students see that reading and writing should always be part of their lives.
- Rabbit: A small furry animal with long ears
- Rainbow: An arc of seven colors that appears in the sky during or after rain
- Random: Something that happens without a reason
- Raw: Uncooked
- Reach: To extend, to stretch out to get something
- Return: To give back
- River: A straight body of running water
- Root: The part of a plant that goes into the soil for nutrients
- Rod: A straight round stick
- Row: To move a boat by paddling
To state the obvious, rivers, rabbits and rainbows are all tailormade for drawing exercises. A trip outside to explore tree roots might also be in order. Associating words with action and creativity instead of study and rote memorization is crucial to keeping kids engaged with the written word.
3rd Grade Words That Start With R
These 3rd grade R words have been chosen in part to be familiar, and in part to evoke vivid images in the minds of your students. Encouraging those images, and making sure your students identify the words they use every day, is a perfect way to improve not only vocabulary, but also boost your students' overall literacy skills.
- Ray: A straight line, often of light or something else bright
- Really: Actually, in fact
- Redo: To do something again
- Represent: To stand for, to symbolize
- Reside: To live in
- Retire: To go to bed, or to leave a job after a long time
- Rhythm: Steady, repeated sound, usually the basis for music
- Riddle: Word puzzle
- Roar: Loud noise made by hunting animals to frighten prey
- Route: One way to go
We encourage audiovisual supporting materials for several of these words. A snippet of animation showing a superhero sending out a ray, or an audio recording of a real lion's roar, are both easily accessible and powerful sensory connections that will stay with those words in the minds of your students.
4th Grade Words That Start With R
Activities in 4th grade should engage students with the context and larger significance of the language we're presenting. At this point we should move beyond memorization to the context and creative use of words.
- Rant: An angry speech, or to speak angrily at length
- Remodel: To remake, especially a house
- Research: Study, gather information
- Respect: To show honor to, to esteem
- Robe: Loose full-body garment that closes in front
- Robin: Small songbird with a red breast
- Rodent: Any of a group of small furry mammals with big front teeth, like mice and rats
- Rose: Thorny, many-petaled flower that can be red, pink, white, or yellow.
- Ruler: A piece of wood marked at intervals for measuring distance
Roses, robins, rodents and rulers all have major roles in literature of all kinds. Pick selections and read aloud. After all the emphasis on connecting spoken language to symbol in the previous lists, it's also important to remember that language is a thing heard.
Reading Emily Dickinson's Nature Poem 6: The Robin to your kids is absolutely an educational activity. It may help their vocab. It will certainly help them connect these words to a time and place. Above all, it will remind them that language is something to be used, played with, written, spoken and heard.
Rolling with Rs
The commonness of R is what makes it worth studying. Words that start with R are as close as is practical to a random sample of the English language. Studying it as vocabulary just makes good sense.
For more enriching vocabulary and etymology, take a look at our words starting with G! Get ready to gab about green gorillas and a group of great grasshoppers!