CVC words are a fundamental step in learning to read. Once kids know their letters and sounds, CVC words are the first words they begin to read. Mastery of CVC words will form the basis for kids’ success in reading longer and more complex words.
New readers need a lot of exposure and practice reading CVC words. It’s not enough for kids to encounter these words in easy-to-read books. They need chances to work with the words in context and out of context. They need hands-on experiences along with chances to write, read, and spell these words.
Our list will help you create multiple activities using CVC words for kindergarten along with some worksheets that will give students meaningful experiences with these words.
What Are CVC Words?
CVC stands for consonant-vowel-consonant. CVC words are the essential words that kids first learn to read. Examples of CVC words include dog, cat, sit, hop, cut, etc.
These words are easy to read because they’re easy to sound out. Each phoneme contributes to the word. The vowels are always short.
Early readers learn CVC words in conjunction with sight words. Sight words don’t always follow the simple rules of phonics, and so are taught to be read on sight. CVC words are sounded out. Later, kids will read longer words with one or more CVC words inside, like catnip. A strong foundation in CVC words will help them sound out these longer words.
How to Teach CVC Words?
Before kids are ready to learn CVC words, they must have a strong grasp of their letters and phonemes. They must be able to pick out individual phonemes in a three-letter word. When CVC words are first introduced, kids need to be taught with direct instruction.
Once kids are familiar with the concept, they’re ready to do word work. Word work involves a variety of exposures to CVC words.
Manipulating and creating words through activities is great. Games often give kids a chance to read words in a fun context and may encourage them to be speedier at sounding out. Worksheets give kids practice reading and creating CVC words.
Printable CVC Worksheets
1. CVC Matching
Matching worksheets are great practice, especially for kids who are new to CVC words or are still learning to write. This sheet is a quick practice, perfect for reluctant learners. You can use it as a bellringer or as part of center work.
2. CVC Word Writing
Kids need to be able to use their sounding-out skills to write CVC words. This worksheet features images of CVC words for kids to write. The three boxes under each image make it easy for kids to separate the words into sounds and give them support with spelling.
3. CVC Word Families
Learning word families helps kids to read sight words more easily, as they only have to focus on the initial sound of the word.
This worksheet gets kids to think about word families by asking them to come up with several words for a word family. This worksheet can be used after teaching word families or as a way to get kids brainstorming.
4. Find the Missing Letter
One of the most important skills in reading CVC words is distinguishing each letter sound. This skill allows kids to sound out words. This worksheet gives kids a chance to complete words that are missing the initial, medial, or final letter.
5. CVC Word Search
Word searches are a lot of fun for kids. While many word searches may be too challenging for kindergarteners, this CVC word search is just challenging enough for more advanced learners. Kids can use pencils to circle the words or use a highlighter.
Activities and Games for Teaching CVC Words
Below are some of our favorite activities and materials for creating CVC word activities.
1. Building CVC Words
Duplo bricks have so many uses in the kindergarten classroom. For this activity, you’ll need a set of 2×2 Duplo bricks. Place a small piece of painter’s tape on each brick and use a sharpie to write a lower-case letter. Be sure you make plenty of vowel bricks and do a few commonly-used consonants.
Duplo bricks are especially great for building word families. For example, kids can create words from the -at family by building the letters a and t and then putting different consonants on top to see how many words they can form.
2. Letter Shapes
A set of letter shapes can come in handy for all sorts of activities in kindergarten, including CVC words activities. Students can practice building and copying words.
Kids can practice building words they know or forming new words. Pairs can race to create as many CVC words as possible. Kids who are new to CVC words can use the letters to copy words.
3. CVC Words Parking Lot
Hot Wheels cars can be used for more than just imaginative play. You can use painter’s tape and a marker to put a letter on top of each car. Use a poster board or foam board to make the parking lot. Draw spaces. You can either write letters to make a CVC word in each space or leave the spaces blank for kids to make their own.
4. CVC Cookies
Nothing motivates kids like treats. A set of alphabet cookie cutters can be used for all sorts of reading and spelling activities. You (or your class) can bake a batch or two of alphabet cookies. Before eating, kids can use the letters to make CVC words.
5. CVC Puzzles
CVC puzzles are a great addition to any CVC word center. Each puzzle is made of three pieces that make a CVC word. Kids can put the pieces together to see the word.
For kids who are just learning to read CVC words, you may want to put fewer puzzles out or put more for kids who are advanced. You can order a set or make your own with index cards.
6. Boggle Junior
Boggle Junior is a fun game with an easy setup. It’s best for kids who have some prior experience with CVC words and is a good way for them to practice forming these words.
The Junior version is slightly different from the original, as kids match the letter cubes to words featured on cards. Because there are some four-letter word cards, you can remove these before playing. This game will grow with their students.
Boom is a fun take on traditional flash cards. To start, you’ll need to make a deck of flashcards with CVC words that your kids are learning. You don’t have to make a specific number, just make enough based on how many kids are playing. Then, create several cards with the word “BOOM!” written on them. Shuffle them into the deck.
A group of kids will sit in a circle with the deck in the center. Kids will take turns drawing a card. If it has a CVC word, they’ll read the word. If they read it correctly, they keep the card. If they read it incorrectly, they put it in the discard pile. If a student pulls a boom card, they have to put all cards in the discard pile. The player with the most cards at the end is the winner.
8. CVC Memory
Memory is a good game for kids who are just learning to read CVC words. Memory gives them exposure without too much pressure to read. There are memory games on the market, but you can easily make your own.
Create one set of index cards or cardstock with CVC words and another set with corresponding pictures. If you’re not artistic, you can find pictures online to print onto cardstock.
9. Swatting CVC Words
Sometimes the strangest things are a hit with kids. For this game, you’ll need some plastic flyswatters and bug cutouts with CVC words written on them. Stick the words randomly on a lower space of the wall.
Kids will take turns coming up to the wall. You’ll call out a CVC word and they’ll use the flyswatter to hit the correct bug.
CVC words are a fundamental part of kindergarten as they’re often the first words kids learn to read. Students need many exposures to CVC words to ensure they build a solid foundation. With a mix of activities, games, and worksheets, students will have a firm grasp of CVC words and be ready to move on to more challenging words.