Words Ending with V for Kindergarten & Tips for Teaching

Words Ending with V for Kindergarten & Tips for Teaching

Do your kindergarten kids get confused by words that end with the /v/ sound? Use these teaching tips and resources to teach all of the words ending with V for kindergarten the right way!

But first - the importance of phonemic awareness

A significant part of teaching children how to read is teaching them to identify the sounds in the words they hear. This is phonemic awareness - the process of becoming aware of the phonemes in words. Phonemic awareness is crucial for sounding out. 

Particularly with the rise in the Science of Reading, more and more teachers are looking for resources to develop their students' phonological and phonemic awareness skills, which can help them learn how to read much more effectively than the context-based methods of the past.

In theory, this system works smoothly. We say a word, break down the individual letter sounds in the word, then tie those to the letters to spell out the word.

In reality? It's not always quite that simple. As you know, English can seem like a confusing language to learn, and the letter V is a great example.

Do words end with the letter v?

We actually use the sound /v/ quite often in our daily conversation. Your students may love their dad, have a dog, and wave at their bus driver, but they may struggle to spell those words on their own.

V is the 22nd letter and one of the least-used words in the English alphabet. However, it is in some of our most commonly used words, like give, have, and save.

But, here's an important rule: English words will never end with the letter V.  

When you hear a /v/ sound at the end of an English word, it will always end with -ve. The final "e" is silent, so you only hear and pronounce the /v/ sound. 

(There are a few words like improv, but these are affixes, so they aren't full words).

Beware the concept of 'magic e'!

If you've started teaching the split digraph (also called the silent e, bossy e, or magic e), then you'll have possibly taught your kids that many words with a silent e at the end have a vowel that "says its name" or a long vowel sound. Think of words like name or time. 

However, you'll quickly realise that that rule doesn't always work with words which end with the /v/ phoneme e.g love, have, give. There are also several heteronyms on the list below (dove, live). Heteronyms are words which are spelled identically, but sound different and have different meanings. One example is 'tear' (which comes from your eye) and 'tear' (which means 'to rip'). This can make things even more confusing!

For example, cave has a long a sound, and so does hive, but give has a short i sound, and move has an oo sound. So confusing, right?  

How to teach words that end with /v/ to kindergarten students

The best way to teach your young students these tricky words is exactly that - as atypical heart words, with a tricky part that students need to recognise by heart. Plus, once we tell students that English words will never end in 'v', this will help them to remember to always add 've' to the end of these tricky words.

Any time you introduce new words that don't follow standard phonetic pronunciation, use orthographic mapping! This process will help connect the visual spelling of the word with the oral sounds in the word to encode it to your students' long-term memories. 

It's significantly more effective than just memorising words on flashcards and will help your students learn these high-frequency words much faster!

Resources for Teaching Heart Words

Words Ending with V for Kindergarten

Most of the words that end with the /v/ sound are four or five letter words. It's best to start with the shorter four-letter words, which only contain three sounds just like CVC words. The five-letter words are great for extending this skill whenever your students are ready. Some of them contain consonant digraphs, which makes them great for reinforcing that digraphs have just one sound. For example, shove may have 5 letters, but it only has three sounds, just like the four letter words on the list below.

4 Letter Words That End with Ve

  • cave
  • cove
  • dive
  • dove
  • have
  • hive
  • five
  • gave
  • give
  • live 
  • love
  • move
  • pave
  • rave
  • save
  • wave

5 Letter Words

  • alive
  • above
  • brave
  • carve
  • crave
  • drive
  • drove
  • glove
  • grove
  • olive
  • nerve
  • prove
  • serve
  • shave
  • shove
  • stove
  • solve
  • weave

Make it an intentional practice to teach and study these tricky words with your students! Look for them in your stories and read-alouds, and ask your students to listen for words with the sound /v/ in their daily lives. Connecting this lesson to their everyday life will make it much more engaging and meaningful.

Looking for more?

The Hive is chock-a-block full of evidence-based instructional resources, videos, and digital learning tools, including a variety of tools for teaching heart words just like these! 


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