What are CVC Words?
Teaching students how to read can be overwhelming. Understanding what cvc words are and how to teach them is a critical part. This post will share helpful tips and tricks to help you with better understanding cvc words.
You know you have to teach your students how to read. You know that learning letter sounds and sight words is an important part of that…but outside of those things, what else should you do?
That’s where cvc words come in. So if you’re asking yourself “what are cvc words?” or if you just need some help with finding ways to incorporate them into your lessons, then this blog post is for you!
What does cvc mean?
Okay, so you might be asking yourself, what does a cvc word even mean? Cvc stands for consonant-vowel-consonant. So any word that follows that pattern is a cvc word.
When children are just learning to read, many of their books will be filled with sight words AND cvc words. This is because three-letter words are easy to sound out and blend. So as educators, we must have the proper tools to make sure our students are confident when they see a cvc word in a text.
You might also like this blog post: CVC Words in 7 Simple Steps!
What are cvc words?
Okay, so remember how I said that a cvc word is a three-letter word that follows a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern? Sounds simple enough right? Well, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in front of my class, working with cvc words, and the only words that come to my mind are “cat, hat and fat.” If you ever find yourself struggling to think of different words, you can refer to this list.There is also a form to submit your name and email and I will send you the printable list for free.
I’ve broken them up by word family for easy reference. Of course, these aren’t the ONLY cvc words, but it’s enough to get you started.
What are short a cvc words?
-ab words: cab, lab
-ad words: bad, dad, had, lad, mad, pad, rad, sad
-ag words: bag, gag, nag, rag, sag, tag, wag
-an words: ban, can, fan, man, pan, ran, tan, van
-ap words: cap, gap, lap, map, nap, rap, sap, tap
What are short e cvc words?
-ed words: bed, fed, leg, red, wed
-eg words: beg, leg, peg
-en words: den, hen, men, pen, ten, zen
-et words: bet, get, jet, let, net, pet, vet, wet
What are short i cvc words?
-ib words: bib, fib
-id words: did, hid, kid, lid, rid
-ig words: big, dig, fig, pig
-in words: bin, fin, kin, pin, tin, win
-ip words: dip, hip, lip, pip, rip, sip, tip, zip
-it words: bit, fit, hit, lit, pit, sit, zit
What are short o cvc words?
-ob words: cob, mob, rob, sob
-od words: god
-og words: dog, hog, log
-on words: son, ton, won
-op words: cop, hop, mop, pop
-ot words: cot, got, hot, jot, lot, not, pot, rot
What are short u cvc words?
-ub words: cub, pub, rub, tub
-ud words: bud, mud
-ug words: bug, hug, mug, pug, rug, tug
-un words: bun, fun, run, sun
-ut words: cut, gut, hut
CVC Words with Pictures
So now that we know what a cvc word is and have a list of them readily available. Let’s talk about how we begin to teach these.
When I first introduce my students to cvc words, I include activities that have pictures with them. This helps children tremendously and only after they are able to segment and blend the sounds in cvc words do I take the pictures away.
Don’t think of using pictures as cheating. When we provide children with a picture that represents the word we are helping them to internalize the process we are teaching them. When scaffolding your cvc word lessons, always include pictures when you first start.
Here are some examples of activities and printables that include consonant-vowel-consonant words with pictures. All of the activities are different and ask children to complete a different task, yet they all include cvc words with pictures.
In this activity, Bag of Bones, children are provided with both the cvc word and three picture options. Using a clothespin, children clip the correct picture that matches the word.
Here is another hands-on activity that includes pictures. With these beginning sound dry erase boards, children are given the picture and the last two letters in the consonant-vowel-consonant word. Using their letter-sound knowledge, and the letter clues on the bottom, children must determine the correct beginning sound.
CVC word puzzles are another great way to practice segmenting and blending cvc words. Although this game includes pictures, this is for our children who are able to read cvc words independently.
Reading Cvc Words
I realize that I’ve used the phrase “segment and blend” a few times in this post. So now let’s talk about that. To segment and blend is the process we use to decode words. Children have to segment all three-letter sounds (say them individually) and then blend them together to form a word. This takes practice, practice, practice!
I love using segment and blend cards for this because it makes it an engaging activity for the students.
Here are a few examples of segment and blend cards.
If you use Beanie Babies to teach your students their reading strategies, then definitely include Stretchy the Snake when working on segmenting and blending three-letter words. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then read this post: How Beanie Babies Taught My Students to Read.
The short version is, each key reading strategy (using picture clues, initial sounds, segmenting and blending, etc), is assigned a Reading Buddy aka Beanie Baby. This helps students remember specific strategies to apply when they get stuck on a word. But that is a whole other lesson so let’s stick to cvc words for now.
Writing Cvc Words
If you follow the sequence I showed in this post, you will have scaffolded your lessons and activities in such a way that your sweet littles are now ready to start independently reading and writing cvc words. Yay!!
But that doesn’t mean our job is done. Phonics skills require constant practice. Think of it like riding a bike. If you haven’t done it in a while, you might be shaky. You might fall, forget how to brake, or bump into something. You didn’t completely forget, but you definitely need some work. The same goes for cvc words. So spiraling in skills is really helpful for our students.
Here are a few of my favorite independent reading and writing activities for cvc words. These are great for spiraling in this skill.
The first thing I do when having children write cvc words on their own is to provide them with either 3 boxes or 3 lines. This helps them with stopping to think of the 3 individual sounds. It’s a great way to start the writing process. Stretch it Out Cards are something I always use. There’s a picture clue and then three boxes. I’ve laminated these cards so that my students can use a dry erase marker on them. I simply wipe them off and they are ready for the next child to use.
Once children have begun to show fluency with sounding out cvc words, I remove the boxes and incorporate activities that have them “free write” (in a sense) the words. A great activity is writing with shaving cream. I put a little in front of each child and have them smear it to make a “board.” I say a cvc word and they write it in the shaving cream with their finger. Once it’s been checked we rub the shaving cream to make a new board.
Shaving cream is great because it’s tactile, engaging and it doesn’t stain or make a mess. All you need is a paper towel to clean it up afterward.
I hope that you now have some ideas for how to move forward with your cvc word lessons. If you think that any of the resources shown above would benefit your class, you can find them in my store or click on the following links.