If you're teaching your students CVC words and need a handy list of words for them to study, you're in the right place! My free list of CVC words printable sorts these three-letter words by their short vowel sound, giving you the perfect words to teach these phonics skills to your whole class!
There's something so exciting about teaching CVC words! These simple words are so easy and predictable that they're often the first words children read. Once they decode a few words successfully and realise they can read real words, their confidence shoots through the roof!
These are big moments to celebrate, and I'd love to help you support your new readers with this free printable CVC word list.
In the moment, it can be hard to remember CVC words to use in a lesson or example! This free list of CVC words printable is a great way to give you plenty of words following the CVC pattern any time you need them!
Why you'll love this free CVC words list
As part of my free decodable word lists, this is more than just a free CVC word list! The CVC words are separated by the different short vowels, so you get five printable lists of CVC words!
Plus, this free download also includes the following:
- VC/CV words
- CVCC words
- CCVC words
- CCVCC with mixed vowel sounds
- Compound words made from CVC words
Since these free printable lists cover so much more than just CVC words, you can use them through months and months of phonics lessons. It's sure to be one of your new favourite resources, and you'll certainly want to share this post with your teacher friends!
What are CVC words?
CVC stands for consonant vowel consonant words. These easy words always contain three letters, and the middle sound is always a short vowel.
This makes the consonant-vowel-consonant pattern very predictable. Students can easily break apart the individual sounds in the words and blend them.
For example, think of the word map. This word is even easier to decode because the consonants can only make one sound each. The m always makes the /m/ sound, and the p always makes the /p/ sound. When early readers pronounce the sounds of the letters, it's straightforward for them to get each sound right and blend the phonemes together.
Plus, since the middle vowel sounds are always short, the normally-tricky medial sound becomes easy to read.
Since these words are so common, students must have a strong foundation in phonemic awareness (orally blending, segmenting, and manipulating phonemes) and early phonics skills, like identifying letter sounds. They need lots of practice with all of these skills, and you'll likely spend a lot of time reviewing these words to help them lock in that new knowledge.
Examples of CVC Words
Although these CVC words are all included in the free download at the bottom of this post, you can also scan these lists for specific CVC word families!
Short A CVC Words
ab: jab, lab, nab
ad: bad, dad, had, mad, pad
ag: rag, wag, gag, sag, tag
am: dam, ham, ram
an: tan, can, fan, man, van
ap: cap, lap, map, nap, rap, tap, zap, gap, sap
at: fat, sat, cat, mat, hat, pat, rat
Learn more about an words for kindergarten!
Short E CVC Word Family
ed: bed, fed, wed, red, led
en: hen, ten, men, pen
eg: leg, beg, peg
et: net, pet, get, jet, met, vet, wet, set
These CVC word chains are an excellent way to practise changing the beginning and final sounds in different words.
Short I CVC Words
ib: bib, rib
id: hid, lid, bid, kid, rid, did
ig: dig, fig, pig, wig, big
im: dim, him, rim
in: bin, pin, win, fin, tin
ip: rip, lip, sip, dip, hip, pip
it: hit, bit, fit, kit, lit, sit
Short O Words
ob: bob, dob, lob, mob, rob, sob, cob
og: fog, dog, hog, cog, job, log
op: cop, pop, hop, mop, top
ot: hot, jot, lot, rot, tot, cot, dot, pot
Need some tips for teaching the long O? Learn everything you need to know about the long O vowel sound!
Short U CVC Words
ub: rub, sub, tuub, cub
ud: bud, mud
um: gum, hum, yum
un: bun, nun, gun, fun, run, sun
up: cup, pup
ut: cut, hut, nut
How to use a free CVC words list
Not sure how to use these handy lists of CVC words? There are many ways to incorporate these simple short vowel words into your lessons and activities!
- Explicit whole class phonics lessons
- Phonics instruction for your small groups
- Decodable word-building activities
- Word dictation
I also love using these printable CVC word lists to help my students practise their phonemic awareness skills. Because they're so predictable, they're perfect for blending, segmenting, and manipulating phonemes long before you teach them to decode.
Tips for Teaching Reading with CVC Words
From a synthetic phonics perspective, there are some essential things to remember before you teach young readers CVC words! Fortunately, I have quite a few resources to simplify the whole process.
- First, read how to teach CVC words the right way. It's imperative to build all of those foundational skills before you expect your students to know their letter sounds!
- Use orthographic mapping. This is one of the best ways to encode new words in your students' long-term memories, making it much easier for struggling readers to learn how to read. It's an instructional practice that helps certain students, but it is also great for everyone!
- If you're not sure which phonics skills your students have, take the time to administer this quick phonics screener! It will target the specific skills your students have already mastered and which ones they need extra practice with, so it's the perfect way to fine-tune your reading instruction to your students.
- Use manipulatives as much as possible! You can easily make your alphabet manipulatives or buy them from the store. Whether you're using letter tiles, bingo chips, or word cards, your students will learn so much faster making and moving these with their hands.
CVC Words Activities
Need some more ideas? These CVC activities and printable worksheets are a fun way to help your students master these critical skills!
There are many fantastic resources for teaching CVC words in my shop, making it easy for you to offer evidence-based instructional materials designed to help your students learn how to read in a way that works for them! Be sure to dig around and explore these resources to find the ones that work for you.
Ready for the free CVC word lists? Click here to download your free copy today!