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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!

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.

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