Struggling to teach CVC words in the classroom? Look no further! This blog post provides useful tips, phonics teaching strategies, and FREE downloadable lists of common CVC word patterns. They are separated by vowel sound and can be made into convenient flipbooks Parents will love to practice with children at home. They are a fun way to practice phonics with CVC words. Whether you’re just starting teaching or want some fresh ideas, these resources will help you plan your lessons with confidence! If you work with struggling readers or students with dyslexia, read on!
What is a CVC word?
Reading CVC words (consonant-vowel-consonant) is a vital building block for reading and writing. In closed syllables, the vowel will always make its short sound due to being “closed off” by another consonant – instead of having it say its letter name in a long sound as it would in an open syllable. To understand more about these interesting closed syllables — explore this blog post!
Why teach CVC words?
CVC words are the perfect choice for introducing students to reading! With their short, simple structure and immediately recognizable letter sounds – they provide an ideal starting point to learn to decode words.
With CVC words, teachers are introducing young learners to the essential skill of blending and segmenting with letters! These foundational concepts provide a solid base for more challenging word-reading tasks as they grow. if students learn to read basic three-letter words in closed syllables they can begin to combine those closed syllables into more complex words. This is especially helpful for older struggling readers. I had an older student with dyslexia read fan-tas-tic yesterday and he was so excited!
Teaching students to read CVC words is the perfect foundation for their reading journey! With these key building blocks in hand, our beginning and struggling readers can take off on an exciting exploration of decodable books and sentences.
How to teach CVC words
Set the stage with phonemic awareness
Before we can effectively teach reading beginning readers must have phonological awareness skills. They must be able to do activities like identifying the beginning sound and ending sounds in a picture or spoken word. They need to be able to identify the vowel sound in the middle of the word. This phonemic awareness does not have to be connected to written individual letters at first but the ability to just manipulate sounds is the building block for blending sounds in words.
Orthographic Mapping is a powerful tool for young readers; mapping letter-sound connections to words ensure they can use the alphabetic principle that connects the letter sounds with symbols in their memory. With this connection of letters and sounds, children learn how to read by sight, remember correct spelling and expand their vocabulary through reading.The most important part to help students is to use simultaneous processing. Students should ALWAYS say the sounds as they write the letters. You can use my free word ladders in the Freebie Library to build segmenting knowledge, phonemic awareness, and the alphabetic principle.
Since all students benefit from orthographic mapping and strong phonemic awareness skills. I have students write, read and say sounds at the same time. This multi sensory process allows students to orthographically map letters and their sounds. If you have students who have to continually sound out the same CVC words over and over again go back and do orthographic mapping with 2 sounds and letters first before moving on to remembering the beginning middle and ending sounds.
Another strategy that helps teach children and students with dyslexia to read and spell consonant vowel consonant words is to focus on the onset sound and then add on the word family. When a child struggles reading a CVC word like ‘cat’ the teacher says:
- “What is the beginning sound?” /K/
- “What is the word family?” /at/
- “What is the word?” (Students blend the whole word) <cat>
- Another activity is to have students come up with other words with the same ending. (rhyming words)
This helps kids that struggle with auditory memory issues because they only have to segment and blend 2 parts of a word instead of 3.
Do Lots of Auditory Discrimination
At the start of every Orton Gillingham lesson, I do activities where students have to identify the beginning sound and the word family in words and write them down on an auditory discrimination worksheet. This gives added practice with individual sounds and vowel sounds.
For example, I might say “Listen to these words and tell me the word family for each word.” “hat” and “What is the word family?” The student will say “at.” I would do several of these and then we would do it again and have the student print the letters of the word families. The student would print the word family while saying the names of the two letters as they write them and then underline what they wrote and say the word family.
This process is extremely valuable for building fluency with CVC words for beginning readers with dyslexia. We can also do this process with blends or CCVC words.
Introducing CVC patterns can be an exciting journey, beginning with visuals that foster creative exploration of the words. Move on to enabling students to interact directly with letters and build up their knowledge further – ultimately arriving at a place where they are confidently constructing these structures themselves!
When to teach CVC words
Students should enter this lesson with prior knowledge of consonants and vowels, as well as an understanding of their sounds. Furthermore, they must be comfortable with blending and segmenting words orally through experience in phonemic awareness practice.
All students should have a fundamental knowledge of oral blending and segmenting before attempting the more complex task of manipulating individual sounds with letters. This auditory skill is crucial to writing CVC words and reading CVC words.
Once your students have developed phonemic awareness and have the auditory memory to hold on to two letters and sounds with fluency, introduce CVC words right away. With just a few letters in their toolbox, they’ll be ready to blend and segment sounds for exciting new literacy activities!
You can have students begin blending words as soon as they learn a few consonants and a vowel. Then build up more words as students learn more letters.
Fun Activities that Help Children with CVC Words
It is important that we make sure that students are not memorizing cvc words. When we use word cards with CVC, word families we should foster the most productive form of learning with orthographic mapping.
Segment, Write, Blend, Read
Download these Free CVC worksheets and students can have fun segmenting the word in the picture with play dough and magnetic letters. Or children can dot the words with markers and then practice their spelling and blend and read words that they wrote themselves.
Another Great activity that children love is the Reading Race CVC Worksheets. Children can put these in folders and take them to centers. Get a fun and colorful sand timer and they can practice their fluency and reading by beating their own time as they have a blast practicing!
What’s Under the Cup
Build a CVC word with letter tiles under colorful cups. Have students predict where letters are based on their sounds in the word. For example, the teacher could build the word <bat>. Have the children predict where the /b/ is or where the vowel is. This activity builds phonemic awareness and the ability to do orthographic mapping.
My favorite way to have students practice with CVC words is to give them a decodable mini-book to read in small groups or to take home to parents. My mini-books have a bonus of the cloze passages so not only do students read words but they write CVC words as well. Parents love them too because they can see their children’s progress in reading.
By effectively introducing CVC words and providing fun activities to practice, young readers and children with dyslexia can develop a strong foundation for building up their reading skills. With strong phonemic awareness skills, these students will be able to decode words with more confidence and fluency, giving them a great start for further literacy development.
In conclusion, CVC words are an essential part of a young reader’s journey, and teachers play an integral role in helping students develop the skills required for success. With the right tools, CVC words can be an enjoyable experience that opens new doors to reading.
Happy Smart and Special Teaching! Download some free word ladders below.https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KvAr2RL6vIGNPuWpHdnhy7mvfcmNoVCw/view?usp=drive_link