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10 Activities for CVC Words

Why CVC Word Work is Important

When students are learning to read, it’s important that they build up their skills. Focusing on something like CVC words, gives readers a chance to apply their knowledge of individual letter sounds. As they gain confidence reading CVC words out of context, they can then focus on reading CVC words (and others) in sentences and texts. CVC words allow readers to start putting together multiple sounds, which is a significant skill with reading. 

Some early readers have no problem breezing through CVC words. Others, have a tough time actually putting the sounds together to read the word. To help those readers, it’s important to provide them with multiple opportunities for practice with CVC words. The activities listed below can be done in any order, except for # 9 and #10. I recommend leaving those for later on, once readers are confident in their abilities. 

10 CVC Word Activities

  1. Real vs Not Real (nonsense) word sort
  2. Make a list of words in one word family 
  3. Change the vowel
  4. Change the beginning sound
  5. Change the ending sound
  6. Make the word: ______
  7. Break down the word _____ to its individual sounds 
  8. Sort the words by short vowel sound or word family 
  9. Make a sentence with your words
  10. Read the words in a sentence

Check out the images and info below to see how to do each activity. 

Real vs Not Real Word Sort

Make a chart, separating real words from nonsense words. The reason I wrote “not” is just because it gives kids an extra opportunity to read a CVC word! Depending on the group, either provide readers with words or let them make them up. They will then sort the words under the correct category.

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Make Words in a Word Family

In a small group, pair students up, or just have students work independently. Each student will get a sticky note with a word family on it. You may want to choose words with the same vowel sound, but different endings or different vowels and the same ending. Students will then make words to match their assigned word family. As a group, they can all read the words that were created.

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Change the Vowel/Beginning Sound/Ending Sound

For each of these activities, only one thing should be changing in the word, each time. It can become overwhelming to change too much for some students. Choose which vowels you want the reader to focus on and provide them with a sticky note. They will then just change the vowel and read the new words. 

When changing the beginning or ending sound, provide students with the letters you want to remain constant. Then, they will make new words and read them. In the end, they can tell you which words were real or not real.

Make the Word/Break Down the Word

For these activities, you will say a word and then students will make the word. Once the word is made, have readers separate the individual sounds to make sure they realize that each letter is making a sound in the word. This can be done in the reverse too, where they say the sounds first and then make the word. 

Sort the Words

I love word sorts! Typically students do too because it’s kind of like a puzzle to them. The most important part of this is to remember that readers NEED to read the word before sorting. Some kids like to just skip that step and sort based on looking at the word. However, the point is to actually practice reading here, so don’t let this step be overlooked!

Let kids sort words in different ways: by vowel sounds, by word family ending, etc.

If you’re looking for some sorts to simply print and use, I have a few different themed packs in my store: President’s DayQR CodesWinterEarth Day

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Make a Sentence/Read a Sentence

Provide students with sticky notes with words that can be used to make a simple sentence. Then let students make a CVC word that would make sense to complete the sentence. They can then share their sentence with the group.

Write sentences using simple CVC words and basic sight words. Then have students practice reading the sentences on their own, with a partner and as a group. As an extension, you can have readers actually write the CVC word, that you suggest/they come up with, in the sentence.

Hope this provided you with some new ways to work on CVC words this week!

Aylin Claahsen

Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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