CVC words are generally easy to segment and blend, so they are among the first words new readers learn. Giving kids lots of practice with CVC words means lots of practice segmenting and blending, skills they will continue to use as they work with more complex words.
Start by practicing listening for sounds. Begin with initial sounds, stressing or elongating the sound. For example, SSSS-UN. Once students can hear and pick out that S sound, work on end sounds and then middle sounds. Sun is good to use as you can hold two of the sounds for emphasis.
Once students are used to listening for sounds, have them practice segmenting and blending the sounds themselves.
After CVC words students are ready to tackle consonant blend words, like VCC, CVCC, and CCVC words. Continue using the practice of listening for and then segmenting and blending the sounds in words like ant, pond, ink, clip, and tent.
The same skills work as the words get more complex, including CVCCC, CCVCC, CCCVC, CCVCCC and CCCVCC words. Students can progress to words like blank, blend, stump, trust, plant, and twigs.
Use a variety of activity sheets and games to give students lots of practice with these essential reading skills specifically with CVC and consonant blend words. You’ll find 12 ideas for teaching CVC words here; these ideas can easily be adapted for consonant blend words.
One really fun way to practice CVC and consonant blend words is by using cootie catchers. You can use cootie catchers in many ways including:
- Independent practice in class
- Small group work
- Part of a literacy station
- Review and remediation
- Home practice and consolidation
Cootie catchers are great practice for many types of words. You can use the step-by-step process I describe with digraph cootie catchers. They are fun to use with a partner, but can also be used alone, making them a fun option for homework or independent practice.
Are your kids working on CVC words? My CVC chatterboxes, or cootie catchers, provide lots of practice. You get 15 different cootie catchers, split into 5 sets, with each focused on different sounds:
Set 1: a, i, m, n, o, p, s, t
Set 2: b, c, g, h
Set 3: d, e, f, v
Set 4: k, l, r, u
Set 5: j, w, x, y, z
Each set builds on the previous and will include the sounds/letters from previous sets.
You get a word overview sheet with all the words used in each cootie catcher, plus instructions for how to assemble the cootie catchers and use them in your class.
Consonant blend chatterboxes
If you have students working on consonant blend words, check out chatterboxes just for these sound skills: Consonant Blend Cootie Catchers and Consonant Blend Cootie Catchers – 5/6 Sound Words.
The Consonant Blend Cootie Catchers set contains 16 different cootie catchers focused on VCC, CVCC and CCVC words.
The Consonant Blend Cootie Catchers – 5/6 Sound Words set includes 18 different cootie catchers focused on CVCCC, CCVCC, CCCVC, CCVCCC and CCCVCC words.
As with the CVC cootie catchers, you get a word overview sheet with all the words used in each cootie catcher, plus instructions for how to assemble the cootie catchers and use them in your class.
More chatterbox fun
For tons of chatterbox, or cootie catcher, fun, I’ve put together a bundle of all my phonics cootie catchers. You get these CVC and consonant blend cootie catchers plus digraph cootie catchers and cootie catchers for 15 different sounds, including /ae/, /ee/, /er/, /ow/, /s/, /u/, /l/, /air/, and more!
Check out the phonics cootie catcher bundle now!