How often do you feel so proud of your kids when they have mastered their individual sounds but when it comes to blending CVC words you feel at a bit of a loss as to why it is not quite clicking for them? If you have kids in your class that find blending CVC words tricky and you are looking for fun and engaging activities for CVC words make sure to read on! If you are looking to save time and grab a copy of all the activities I talk about in this blog post check out my CVC Words Activity Bundle!
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What are CVC words?
So, before we have a look at different CVC Word activity ideas to help your students learn to decode and encode CVC words we are first going to look at what CVC words actually are. CVC words are words that are made up of a consonant, a vowel then another consonant. A few examples of these would be the words “bat”, “map” and “tip”.
Why is it important to teach CVC words?
When you teach CVC words to your students this allows children to use sounds they have learned and build words, which give the sounds they have learned meaning. CVC words are the first types of words your students will learn to decode, blend and read. Gaining confidence with CVC words also helps to develop reading fluency, word recognition and reading confidence. A good way to introduce CVC words is through onset and rime and CVC word families. CVC words can be used to develop sound isolation skills where your students learn the beginning, middle and end sounds of words which will help develop their phonological awareness. For a great selection of activities to develop your students' sound isolation skills check out this beginning, middle & end sound resource pack. CVC words can also be used for children to learn about short vowel (middle) sounds. If you would like to read more about teaching your students about middle sounds (or short vowels) read my blog post on How to Teach Middle Sounds to Early Readers.
How to teach CVC words?
When teaching children how to blend and read CVC words, first you need to ensure children know their individual sounds. Once you are confident that your students have a good understanding of their individual sounds you can then look at starting to blend two letters together and make words such as “it”, “is”, “in” etc. You can even make nonsense words just to get your students used to blending any two sounds together. In class, I often create a set of flash cards with blends using two letters (for example “ip”, “ot”, “ap” etc) so we can practise this individually or in small groups.
When your students are ready to move on to blending three letters, a good way to approach this is by introducing CVC words through word families (onset & rime). You will probably need to ensure your kids recognise rhyme before doing this. When teaching word families, you can focus on one word family at a time. So, you may want to start off looking at the “-at” word family. You would look at all the words ending in -at. For eg, “cat”, “mat” etc, and your students will be excited to come up with many more. Together practise switching the initial sound to change the word. For example, if you start off with the word “mat”, ask your children what word you make if you switch the initial sound to “s”. When looking at each CVC word family individually, your children don’t need to focus so much on blending the "-at" ending and just need to think about adding the new initial sound.
Activities for CVC words
When planning CVC Words activities you can choose resources that focus on developing different skills. These are:
· Hearing the CVC words in that word family.
· Reading or decoding CVC words.
· Writing CVC words.
· Generating their own words from the same word family.
Activities for Hearing CVC words from the same word family
Asking your students to listen out for words from the same word family while reading a story or singing a nursery rhyme is a fun way to develop this skill.
Activities for Reading CVC words
There are many CVC Words activities that you can do with your class that just use a simple set of CVC word flash cards. There are two of my favourites!
One of these activities is a game I call Splat! You simply lay out a selection of CVC word flash cards face up on a surface and using a plastic fly swatter ask your children to Splat a certain CVC word. You can ask one of the children in your group to give another child a word to Splat.
Another game my kids have loved is a game I call Bang! This time you lay out your CVC flash cards face down on a surface. You then add in a few cards with the word Bang! written on it too. Your children take it in turns to turn over a word card. If they can successfully read it, they get to keep it. However, if they turn over a Bang! card they need to return all the cards they have collected back to the table.
Creating CVC word flip books like the ones pictured below are another hands-on activity your children can do to develop their reading skills. Your students just colour in the letters then stick the pages together to create their own CVC word flip book. The great thing about this activity is that your students can keep them and use them over and over again to practise reading CVC words. You can get a copy of the exact set of CVC Word Flip Books that I use with my class which includes 24 CVC word families.
If you are looking for more written cvc word activities that develop your student’s ability to read CVC words you can check out these as part of my CVC Word resource bundle. This pack of CVC Word activities shown below includes 3 different worksheet activities for your class to practise blending and decoding CVC words.
Once you have explored reading CVC words with your students you can then move onto to decoding and reading simple sentences. This selection of reading comprehension worksheets are differentiated and ask your students to read the sentence or short passage and answer some comprehension questions.
Activities for Writing CVC words
When your children are ready to practise writing CVC words you can first look at unscrambling CVC words. So here you would give your students the letters that appear in a CVC word in the wrong order and ask your children to put the letters in the correct order making a word. This can be done using magnetic letters or using a written activity like the one within this CVC Word Family Activity Pack.
You can then move onto asking your children to build CVC words using a selection of letters you have given them. This activity again can be done using magnetic letters or even a worksheet activity such as a cut and stick activity like the one you can find in my CVC Word Family resource.
Then, when your students are ready, they can practise writing CVC words that correspond with a given picture such as the activity you can find in my CVC Word Family activity pack. Here, your students are not given any letters and they need to use their encoding skills to correctly sound out and spell the CVC words.
Activities for Generating own CVC words
To practise generating their own CVC words, your students can do this through looking at different CVC word families. To begin with, you can give your class the CVC word family ending such as “-ap” and ask them to try out different initial sounds and see what words they can come up with. This activity can be done using magnetic letters and your students simply switch the initial sound to make lots of different words. Or, if you would prefer a written activity you can try out this CVC Word activity where your children add in an initial sound then draw a picture of the word they have just made.
If your students need a bit of support choosing a suitable initial sound to make CVC words, this CVC word jigsaw activity allows your students to play around and switch the initial sounds in a more hands on way. Your children can then record the CVC words they have made.
Craftivities like the one you will find included in this CVC Word Family activity pack are another fun activity for your children to practise generating their own CVC words from the same word family while creating this cute craft!
What should I teach after CVC words?
After your class are confident with CVC words you could move onto exploring CCVC or CVCC words. As your students have already mastered CVC words they should be able to cope with the extra consonant fairly well. You can use many of the same activities mentioned above to help teach CVCC or CCVC words. You could also use the same methods and strategies to introduce them too.