From games to worksheets to cootie catchers, I’m always looking for fun new ways to teach CVC words. In addition to different types of activities, we need ways to help students practice reading, writing, and saying CVC words, and this practice needs to include blending, segmenting, and phoneme manipulation.
Teach CVC words with these 10 activities
Here’s a round-up of activities you can use to teach CVC words that hit on a variety of skills.
1. Listen for CVC sounds
Listening for CVC sounds is a great place to start. Start by having students hear and identify the initial sound. Once children can do that, say words, drawing out, and emphasizing each sound to help. For example ssss — uuu — nnnnn. Other words that work well because sounds can be drawn out include bun, man, mug, nap, sat.
2. Find the missing sound
Teach CVC words by working with missing sounds. Write a CVC word on the board, but leave out the middle sound. For example, write b __ g. Then say the word, bug, making each sound clear and distinct. Have students fill in the missing sound. You can also leave out other parts of the word. For a similar activity that students can do independently in a phonics station or at home, use pictures of the word, and write two of the sounds. Have students fill in the missing sound.
3. Delete the sound
This is a different way to play with the sounds in words when you teach CVC words. Deleting sounds is an important skill, but it can be tricky for students who have problems hearing sounds in words. Demonstrate how to delete a sound. For example, say the word cat. Tell students you will say the word without the initial sound: – a t. Working with initial sounds is a great way to start. Once students get the hang of it, try deleting middle or ending sounds. You can demonstrate and then have students try.
4. Play I Spy
I-spy is a fun game that doesn’t require any materials. To teach CVC words with this game, choose an item in the classroom, such as a map. Then say: “I spy with my little eye a m-a-p.” Ask if anybody knows what it is. Students will need to then blend the sounds together to tell you what you spied. If students are having trouble with this blending activity, hold each sound a little bit longer than usual and leave very little pause between sounds. As students get the hang of it, leave more space, and keep the sounds shorter. I like to identify CVC words I can use or even place objects around the room before the lesson. Some examples include hat or cap, mat, pen, mug or cup, and map. You could also choose the name of a child with a CVC name, like Ben, Tim, Rob, or Pat.
5. Matching game
Print out cards with CVC words on them and a set of cards with pictures representing the same CVC words. Layout the picture cards face down on one side of the table. Layout the word cards face down on the other side of the table. Students play this game in pairs. The first student turns over two cards. They segment the sounds of any words and then blend them together to hear the word. If the word matches the picture, the student takes the pair. Otherwise, they turn both cards back over and the next student takes a turn.
6. CVC go fish
Using the same cards as the matching game, you can play CVC Go Fish. If you like, print out two sets, so that students are looking for 4 cards representing the same word (two word cards and two pictures of the word). Students play in groups of 3 or 4. Each student starts with 5 cards. The other cards are spread out face down in the center of the playing surface. The first student asks another student for one of their words. The student either turns over the card with the word or the picture of the word or says, “Go fish.” If the student says, “Go Fish,” the student whose turn it is picks a card from the middle. Once a student gets four of one word, they put the “book” down. The students with the most “books” or word sets at the end of the game wins.
7. Read & write
Students practice segmenting sounds and blending them together as they read and write CVC words. Give students a Read & Write worksheet, that has CVC words, a segmented space to write each letter, and a space to write the words as a whole. Students segment the sounds as they write the word with each letter in a block. Then they blend the sounds to write and say the whole word.
8. Fluency board
Fluency boards provide great practice for many phonics skills and knowledge areas, including CVC words. You can target particular sounds (p—pan, pop, pat, pin, pig) or any word list you are working on. Time your students for 30 seconds and see how many words they can read in that time. If they finish reading the board, then they read it again until the time is up. Have students record how many words they read in the time. The next time they use the fluency board, they should challenge themselves to read more words.
9. Create a word wall
Word walls are a fabulous way to keep words in front of students regularly. Create a card for each word you want on your wall. You can add words as you introduce them to the class.
CVC bingo is a great way for kids to practice fluency, since they want to read words quickly to fill in their card. You can include pictures representing CVC words or the words themselves on your CVC bingo cards. Call out words and have students mark the image or word that matches the word you said. The first to fill in a row in any direction wins.
Some of these activities require nothing more than you, the student, and maybe the contents of your classroom. Of course several of them call for specific materials, like Read & Write worksheets, matching cards, or bingo cards. None of these are complicated to make, but wouldn’t it be nice to have it done for you? With my CVC Words Activities and Games (pack 2), you get cards like these plus other worksheets and games ready to download, print and use.
If you just need those CVC activities, you can grab that pack, but if you want those CVC activities AND phonics spin, read, and write games, skip counting games, exclusive games and activities, classroom management resources and MORE, the Top Notch Teaching Members Club is for you. Download, print, and use any materials in the membership site for one low monthly rate. Join here >> https://topnotchteaching.com/members/