CVC Words

A CVC word is a single-syllable three-phoneme (sound) word that follows the pattern of consonant sound, vowel sound, and consonant sound. While some are three-letter words, not all CVC words have only three letters. Read through this teaching wiki to learn all about CVC words.

What are CVC words?

CVC words are single-syllable three-phoneme words that follow the pattern of consonant sound, vowel sound, and consonant sound. Learning about CVC words is essential in phonics as it can help kids read, write, and rhyme three-phoneme words.

CVC words help introduce kids to reading by first learning the sounds of the individual letters, digraphs, or trigraphs and blending those three sounds into a whole word. Digraphs are two letters that make one sound. Trigraphs are three letters that make one sound.

Some CVC words may contain four or more letters but only have three phonemes (sounds). Examples of CVC words include:

  • pet
  • log
  • bark
  • beep
  • shop
  • thing
  • night

‘Bark’, ‘beep’, and ‘shop’ have four letters but only three sounds; ‘b-ar-k’, ‘b-ee-p’, and ‘sh-o-p’. ‘Thing’ and ‘night’ have five letters but only three sounds: ‘th-i-ng’ and ‘n-igh-t’.

These words are great for introducing younger pupils to phonemic awareness, the ability to hear and manipulate the sound in words.

Children working within Phase 2 or Level 2 will only have been taught the digraphs ‘ck’, ‘ff’, ‘ss’, ‘ll’. Therefore, a suitable CVC word for a child working within Phase 2 or Level 2 could be three single letters or a combination of single letters and digraphs, ‘ck’, ‘ff’, ‘ss’, or ‘ll’.

You could use CVC words: sip, bun, cuff, and mess.

How Can I Teach CVC Words?

Spending time to secure oral blending and segmenting of CVC words is crucial to developing the reading and writing of CVC words. In addition, CVC words will be decodable at different levels or phases depending on which graphemes are used, so CVC words can be used for reading and spelling as new graphemes are introduced.

Teachers can use a few different activities to help facilitate learning and understanding of CVC words. This could include:

  • Using sound buttons to support children as they decode and read decodable words.
  • Experimenting with replacing the consonants at the beginning and ends of the word to help them become more familiar with rhyming and similar-sounding words.
  • Using phoneme frames to support writing CVC words.

What Is Decoding?

Pupils begin to learn about CVC words by ‘decoding’ the words. Decoding is when a pupil sounds out each letter in a word and blends those sounds to make the sound of one three-letter word.

What Is A Word Family?

A word family is a group of words with a joint base with different prefixes and suffixes. For example, in the case of a CVC word, a word family could be a cat, bat, tat, or dot, got, and rot.

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