What are CVC Words and How to Teach Them

CVC words meaning:  a three letter word made up of a consonant, vowel, consonant (ex. cat). The CVC pattern will always go in the order of consonant, vowel, consonant.  The consonants and vowels change but the c-v-c pattern will remain the same.  Sometimes these words are referred to as ‘CVC a words’ or ‘a CVC words’.  This tells you what vowel will be in the middle of the word.   For example, ‘i CVC words’ or ‘CVC i words’ would include words such as six, fin, or tin; always with an i as the vowel.  

what is a cvc word

Below is a list of CVC words.  This CVC words list gives some examples of CVC words for kindergarten.

picture of cvc words list

Students are introduced to CVC words once they begin to learn the letters and the sounds the letters make.  They can begin to put the sounds together to make words.  This can be done in reading, writing, or hearing and producing the spoken sounds (as in phonemic awareness activities).

How to Teach CVC Words

Teaching CVC words is important when students are learning to read.  One way to teach CVC words is with Elkonin Boxes.  In a small group setting, give each student a mat with a different picture and three small manipulatives that fit inside each box.  Have students place one manipulative under each box on their page. Tell them a CVC word, starting with one of the student’s pictures (ex. Teacher says, “Sally’s picture is a fox, let’s sound out fox.”)  All students in your group follow the next steps even if their picture is not the word you call out. As you and students say each sound in the word, they slide one manipulative in a box, going from left to right.  Once you have gone over all three sounds and all manipulatives are in the boxes, have students slide their finger under the boxes from left to right slowly and blend the sounds together. Then have them slide their finger fast under the boxes and read the word. Continue with other CVC words, use the pictures that are on the other students’ Elkonin Box pages.  You can also have students sound out any CVC word in the boxes, it does not have to match the picture.  Start with simple CVC words.  

cvc words

Reading CVC Words

We teach many reading strategies when students are learning to read.  One reading strategy we teach is Sound Out The Word. When teaching and practicing this strategy, it is best to have books that have a lot of CVC words in them.  This gives them practice focusing on this one strategy of decoding CVC words.  There are some great CVC books to use when teaching this strategy. See below for our favorites, BOB books and I Can Read. Don’t have any of these and teaching the lesson soon?  Look through the pages of the books you already have for CVC words.  Dr. Seuss books usually have plenty of CVC kindergarten words.  You can read the book and when you get to a CVC word, stop and let the student/s read that word.  We love Dr. Seuss books when students are learning to read CVC words.  They are filled with fun and easy CVC words. 

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Sample Reading CVC Words Lesson

Start off the lesson by showing them a CVC word written on a sentence strip or white board.  Show them how to read CVC words by sounding out each letter, then blending the letters together to form the word. Do this with a few CVC words, and invite them to help you with the sounds and blending them together. Then show them the book they are to read and tell them they will be using this strategy to help them read the book. If some of your students are having trouble producing the sounds, it might be helpful to show them some CVC words with pictures.  The pictures can help them produce the sounds of the letters.  

picture of cvc words on sentence strips

Writing CVC Words

When teaching how to write with cvc words, we ask students to say the words as slowly as they can listening to each sound they hear.  We ask them to use this writing strategy to write all of their words, but sometimes they skip over some of their sounds or add in extra sounds.  So we take time to practice sounding out words together. Students sit on the learning carpet with a dry erase board, dry erase marker, and eraser. We call out CVC words, one at a time, and students say them slowly and put down the sounds they hear. This is a great lesson to watch and see where they might be having trouble and be able to guide them in the right direction. 

picture of white board and marker with the word run

CVC Word Practice Packets

There were many times where I felt that, towards the end of the year, most of my students mastered the skill of blending CVC words, but I still had one or two students who were struggling.  I was lucky enough to have a paraprofessional in my class for a few hours a day, so I had her work with these students to catch them up.  I made a packet of many different CVC word worksheets. Every morning during sign in, my paraprofessional pulled those students to a table for some CVC practice.  She worked on the worksheets with them.  This only took five minutes each morning, but it was such a big help!  The students showed tremendous growth.  Our CVC worksheets are self-explanatory and ready to be put into a packet.  So if you don’t have a wonderful paraprofessional in your class, you can send this home for extra CVC word practice with their parents.

picture cvc word worksheets in a packet

Worksheets for CVC Words

We have made some excellent kindergarten CVC words worksheets! There are twenty three pages of activities for CVC words that include:

  • Sound out and write the words underneath the pictures. (one page for each vowel and a few pages with mixed vowels)
  • Use a word bank to fill in the CVC words.
  • CVC Reading: Circle the CVC word that matches the picture.
  • Circle and color the CVC pictures that end with the matching letters at the beginning of each row.
  • Unscramble the CVC word, write the word, then color the matching picture. (These pages are for students who are ready for a little more challenge.)
picture of cvc worksheet with a wordbook and pictures
picture of cvc worksheet unscramble the word

Frequently Asked Questions

CVC words means 3 letter words with consonant vowel consonant in that order.   You can find samples of consonant vowel consonant words in the common CVC words list above. 

CVC pattern words are mostly learned in kindergarten.  Although some kids learn some of these words at an earlier or later age.  See the list above for an example of CVC words kindergarten uses.

A CVC verb is any verb with the consonant, vowel, consonant pattern.  The words run, sit, jog, dig are all CVC verbs. 

Students should work on a variety of CVC words; words with each vowel and  different consonants at the beginning and the end.  The more they practice, the easier it will be for them to read new CVC words. 

CVCC words are consonant, vowel, consonant, consonant words like mash or jump.  CCVC words are consonant, consonant, vowel, consonant like flap or stop. 

More CVC Word Work?

Are you teaching CVC words activities, like CVC Build a Word, that you don’t see here?  We love hearing new ways of teaching all subjects.  Please share with us in the comments.  

Looking for more reading skills worksheets?  We have plenty!!  Check out our Alphabet Animals Reading Skills Curriculum.  You can get the whole curriculum or just the worksheets you need for your class now.  We hope you enjoy using our products.  If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.  We will get back to you as soon as possible!

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