Take a deep dive into CVC words in Kindergarten, and learn more about the reasons to teach them, and how to teach them.
When learning to read and write, CVC words are a stepping stone to get kindergarten students ready for more complex words. I love introducing CVC Words in different ways to my students. This makes it fun and exciting for them!
You can listen to me talk about teaching CVC words in this podcast episode:
If your students are not yet ready for CVC words, I have a couple of blog posts detailing how I get my students to start writing: Knowing When to Slow Down and Get Kindergarten Students Writing.
What are CVC Words?
CVC words are words made up of a consonant, vowel, consonant sound. Words such as:
hat, pin, dog, pet.
Why do we need to know about them?
In a CVC word, each letter says its sound (including the vowel short sounds), so they are easy to decode when reading or writing. They are a perfect starting point for our beginner readers and writers!
So many words!
Apparently, there are 200 CVC words that your students could write or come across in a book. So we know that teaching them has to be important.
Exposing our students to these words can be so beneficial for them when they are learning to read and write. Since there are so many, we have to use different strategies to help our students understand how to decode them.
I’ve used these CVC Word Cards in my sensory bins to make a hands-on learning experience for my students. Paired with magnetic letters, students can easily sound out each word to spell it out.
Why Teach CVC Words in Kindergarten?
There are a few reasons why teaching CVC words is important:
- Give confidence to your early readers and writers with these simple words. They will be able to decode them, so they will be able to grow their confidence with them.
- CVC words are the basis for other, ‘harder’ words like CVCe words.
- Knowing how to read these words is another tool in their toolbox. They are practicing how to blend and segment.
- It introduces the concept that when you put individual letter sounds together, you get a word.
When are students ready for CVC words?
Because there needs to be a background knowledge of letter sounds, teaching CVC words is perfect for students that have an understanding of phonemic awareness and know letter sounds.
When they are ready, I like to start them off with easy and fun activities to keep them engaged. This Type the CVC Word literacy center is always one of the first ones that I put out. My students love that they get to ‘type’ out the words.
Introducing CVC Words
You can introduce CVC words without having to actually show your students any words. Start by just breaking up words into their individual sounds when speaking out loud. You can use visual cues as well if you would like (sound boxes). This will get students to practice their decoding skills.
You can also do the reverse, and practice blending sounds by saying individual sounds out loud and have students blend them together to find the word.
If you are looking for a way to get your students learning how to spell and read, these Linking CVC Word Cards are a great hands-on activity to introduce CVC words to your students. You can pick if you would like students to spell out the words with individual letters, or read the word and connect it to the picture.
There are a few different ways to approach CVC words, and one way is to use word families. Discussing the -at family, for example, is a great way to introduce a variety of words and practise sounding them out and reading them.
Using activities that use hands-on materials is a great way to reinforce learning to spell CVC words. Magnetic letters, loose parts, letter manipulatives are all great materials to give your students while they practice.
I find my students always learn best when they are able to experiment and place the letters themselves.
Boom Cards are another great way to get students to practice spelling out CVC Words. I have a CVC Word Construction set that is great for working on beginning, middle, and ending sounds.
Once your students have gotten the hang of CVC words, you can move on to CCVC, CVCC, CVCe words to challenge your students even more!
I made this literacy center that you can customize to fit the needs of your students. You can use whichever word card set (CVC, CCVC, CVCC, CVCe) that your students need.
Do you have any other tips for teaching CVC words in kindergarten? Let me know in the comments!
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