Teaching CVC Words to Beginner Readers

Hey Teacher Friends!

Let me guess. You've been thrown into the kindergarten department suddenly and unexpectedly and you now have to teach young children how to read. Perhaps you have heard time and time again that this is a very fundamental stage. This makes you worry because although you are an amazing teacher, you are not quite sure how to teach reading from the beginning. Well, you've stumbled across the right page. No worries! I am here to help. Let's start by looking at what CVC words are.

What are CVC words?

CVC words are short words consisting of a consonant at the beginning, a vowel in the middle, and a consonant at the end of the word. For example cat, dog, and net. For beginner readers, it is easy to teach short vowel sounds first as children are already familiar with these vowel sounds from the alphabet. It is very important that before teaching CVC words, children are comfortable and can identify graphemes and phonemes. Many reading experts begin with 'short a'. However, as long as the child has sound knowledge of all vowel sounds, it is your choice where you choose to begin.

Phonemic Blending

It's now time to blend. There are many techniques for teaching children how to use phonemic blending to read CVC words. Children use letter sounds (phonemes) and combine the sounds to make sense of each word. When teaching CVC words, ask the child to blend the first two letters in the word. For example, if the word is 'cat', the child would blend the 'cuh' sound and 'ah' sound first. An arrow can be placed beneath the first two letters to show the child the direction used when blending. This arrow should go from left to right. I've found this method to be very effective for beginners as sometimes they know the phonemes but blending requires a little practice. Also, some children blend from right to left, this is incorrect so the arrow is used to guide them.

After the child has mastered blending two letters, it is now time to add the final letter. Ask the child to say ca then add the 't' sound to finish the word. Place a dot under the third letter for emphasis. Make sure that the children say each sound loud enough for them to hear the new word themselves. Ask them questions such as: what does this sound like? What word did you just say? Some children will be able to master phonemic blending quickly, others will take a little more time. It is your responsibility to make sure that your students feel good about their achievements. If a child is only able to blend two letters at a time, that is ok. The important part is that phonemic blending is taking place. This is a good sign.

Be patient with your students. It is important to create a love for reading from an early age. Play games, use songs, and make your lessons interactive and fun! Seeing their academic growth will be rewarding. Let me know how it goes.

Check out this cool, interactive, digital resource for reading CVC words. It encourages word to picture matching and is self-checking. It is great for distance learning and homeschooling. Click on the image below to check it out. Happy teaching!