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150+ R Controlled Vowel Words [Free Printable Lists]

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The ultimate Bossy R Lists! Get two pdf lists with over 150 R-Controlled vowel words, including AR, ER, IR, OR, and UR. The worksheets are organized by R-controlled syllables, including a list of 1 syllable words & a list of multisyllabic R-Controlled vowel words.

A bright orange background with two worksheets with R-controlled Vowels Words.

R Controlled Syllables

A syllable is a word or word part that includes one vowel sound. Once you have introduced children to these five r-controlled vowel sounds, it is time to teach a new syllable type: The R-Controlled Syllable!

👉 Anytime there is a vowel followed by an R in a word or word part, that is considered an r-controlled syllable.

👉 An R-controlled vowel can come at the beginning (art), the middle (part), or at the end of a syllable (car).

Graphic of 4 r-controlled vowel words by syllable labeled with vowels in red.

1 Syllable Words

  • AR words: Car, bar, far, part, hard, start, arm, jar, dark, farm, Mark, star, yard, spark, yarn.
  • ER words: Her, verb, herd, perm, fern, term, Bert, perch, germ, clerk, jerk, stern, per, serve, nerve.
  • IR Words: Bird, girl, first, third, sir, shirt, dirt, birth, firm, stir, skirt, whirl, thirst, twirl, flirt.
  • OR Words: Corn, for, or, born, north, horse, torn, short, shorty, sort, storm, force, horn, form, york.
  • UR Words: Nurse, turn, fur, hurt, church, purse, burst, burn, curve, curb, urge, curl, surf, blur, burnt.

2+ Syllable Words

  • AR words: Target, market, harbor, carbon, party, cargo, artist, partner, garbage, Marvin, carpet, farmer, army, pardon, carnival.
  • ER words: Butter, otter, sister, ever, copper, person, herself, perfect, observe, determine, Jersey, concern, expert, desert, servant.
  • IR Words: Birthday, circus, dirty, thirteen, thirsty, swirling, girlfriend, confirm, virtual, thirty, affirm, birdcage, skirmish, squirting, circle.
  • OR Words: Forest, order, corner, story, forty, morning, orbit, orange, scornful, Florida, support, accord, normal, report, afford.
  • UR Words: Turkey, purple, turtle, return, further, furniture, occur, disturb, murmur, purpose, Thursday, nursery, burden, current, burger.
Photograph of student holding a highlighter marking the Bossy R one syllable words

Practice with Word Lists

📑 These printable pdf worksheets are great for so many things!

👉 These word lists are great to use with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students. They should already be familiar with open, closed, and VCe syllables.

👉 Use for dictation, as a quick reference for examples, for syllable division, cut and paste sorting, or have students read for fluency!

👉 Dictate the words while playing our free R-Controlled Bingo Game!

The first list includes only one syllable R-Controlled vowel words with keywords. The second list includes multisyllabic R-Controlled vowels (2-3 syllables).

Both lists have five columns so that words are easily organized according to the R-Controlled vowel (ar, er, ir, or, ur).

  • One-Syllable anchor words with pictures: car, her, bird, corn, nurse
  • 2+ Syllable Anchor words with pictures: target, butter, birthday, forest, turkey
Photograph of student with the worksheet cut apart sorting words by r-controlled vowels.
A student cuts and sorts the worksheet according to the R-Controlled vowel
An orange Pinterest image showing 150+ Bossy R Words with two worksheets displayed.

Download & Print

Have you used these lists with your students? We’d love to hear about your experience!
Please leave a comment below or tag us on Instagram @literacylearn.

TERMS: All resources and printables are designed for personal use only in your own home and classroom. Each person must visit this site and download their own free copy. Please do not photocopy, email, or reproduce our printable resources for other teachers, and please do not reproduce our printables on the web or save them to a shared drive. Instead, please share the resources with others by using the social share links provided or by distributing the link to the blog post itself. This allows us to keep making free resources for everyone! If you have any questions, please email us. Please see our Creative Credits page for information regarding the licensed ClipArt used in our resources. Thank you!


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