When you’re teaching your students their very first words in early literacy lessons, you’re taking them on a big journey. It’s time to make the leap from basic phonics and practicing the sounds of individual letters to putting the pieces together to sound out words. But how do you open these first all-important reading lessons? The easiest way to start literacy and spelling is with CVC words.
For the uninitiated, CVC words are the basic, three-letter words that are the stars of easy readers and first books. In this acronym, the C stands for “consonant” and the V stands for “vowel;” therefore, CVC words begin with a consonant, have a single letter vowel sound, and end with a consonant. They’re easy to sound out because they don’t include any of the diphthongs or other complications of the English language.
These words also all use the “short” vowel sound associated with each of the five vowels, so you don’t have to worry about confusing your students with differentiating between long and short vowels — not yet, anyway! CVC words are about as simple as it gets, which makes them the perfect place to start your reading lessons!
Why You Need a Comprehensive List of CVC Words for Your Classroom
Once you get past the stars of “The Cat in the Hat,” it’s surprisingly difficult to do. Did you know that there are 200 CVC words in English that your students should know? It’s true!
If you can’t remember them all, no worries. We’ve made a set of printable CVC word lists that you can use in your classroom to design lessons, craft assessment or just keep on hand for reference when you need them. Our printable CVC word lists come in a set of five and are broken down by vowel sound first (a, e, i, o, u). Within each vowel page are five or six columns that further organize the words by the ending sound, which makes these perfect for teaching student to recognize their first rhymes as well.
Did we mention that the words are alphabetized and color-coded within each column? These worksheets are perfectly organized for you to find exactly what you need at a glance.
You can get all of the CVC word lists here:
|Free Printable CVC Lists
|Link to Resource
|Combined CVC Word Lists – A,E,I,O,U (5 PDFs)
|Combined CVC Chart
|Short A CVC List
|Short A Chart
|Short E CVC List
|Short E Chart
|Short I CVC List
|Short I Chart
|Short O CVC List
|Short O Chart
|Short U CVC List
|Short U Chart
Ways to Use CVC Word Lists With Your Students
Now that you have such a useful resource, it’s time to make the most of it! Try these ideas to get started with CVC words in your classroom:
- Reading in Pairs: When you start working on a new vowel sound, have students practice sounding out the words aloud together. They can take turns reading a word aloud, perhaps crossing out the ones they’ve read. This will give you a sense of what they get stuck on if you collect the worksheets when they’re finished.
- CVC Word Review: Hand your students a version of the sheet without the words in the columns and have them brainstorm as many as they can remember, writing them in the correct “rhyming column” as they go. Pro Tip: This makes a great brainstorming activity at the beginning of a unit to get a sense of what your students already know.
- Spelling Dictation: Use your list to read aloud CVC words for spelling practice. Your students will write down what you say while you keep track of the ones you’ve already used.
- Reading Flashcards: Use a paper cutter to slice apart the columns and then to slice each word off into its own rectangle. Place the cards face down on the table and have student sound at the words as they flip them over for oral practice. Pro Tip: Add a second set to play Memory or Go Fish by finding pairs.
- Highlighter Quiz: Check your kids’ listening skills by handing out a full CVC word worksheet photocopied in black and white. As you read the words aloud, have your students highlight them. You can even color code this activity to check their understanding of individual words.
Of course, you’ll also find the lists incredibly useful to have on hand for inspiration when you need to make up a quick new assignment or game using CVC words. With these helpful word lists, you’ll never have to worry about getting stuck in a rut with the words you use — you’ll have plenty of choices right at your fingertips!
How will you use your CVC word lists to help your students learn to read?