CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words are essential for teaching children to decode, or read, unknown words. These printable CVC word flashcards feature colorful imagery and easy to identify middle vowel sounds for practice. Print the free flashcards to use for self practice or as a fun matching game!
Once children begin to recognize a few letters and memorize their sounds, you should begin teaching and modeling reading CVC words.
Children should begin practicing this skill with assistance and then move to independent practice. This is a foundational reading skill children should master quickly using these short, easily read words!
And these free printable CVC word flashcards are excellent practice for students learning to read! They can be used a few ways- as flashcards for self-practice reading simple word, OR as a fun matching game!
The flashcards are separated by middle letter sound and feature bright, colorful, and easy to identify images.
👉 Print these worksheets on single sides and have children decode the words and match them to the corresponding pictures.
👉 Print them double sided to use as traditional flashcards. Students can practice independently or can be quizzed by a peer or adult.
Tip: Laminate or print on card stock for extra durability!
To dig deeper, print only the pictures at first and have children spell the words on blank flashcards. Children can match them up or glue them next to each other on a separate piece of paper. Then, provide them with the word cards and have them ‘match’ them up to see how they did!
Age Group: These flashcards are most appropriate for young readers ages 4-6, usually in pre-K, Kindergarten, or first grade.
Teaching CVC Words
CVC words should be used to introduce the important skill of blending individual phonemes to read words. This is a super important phonological awareness skill.
You can begin with nonsense words (use whatever consonant and vowel sounds children know already) and integrate real words too! Children should say each individual sound (segment), then stretch the sounds together (continuously blend), and then quickly read the word.
👉 Example: /m/ /a/ /t/ –> mmmmmm aaaaaaaa t –> mat.
Since vowels sounds are usually very difficult for students to master (especially the tricky /e/ and /i/), I like to make sure to teach one or two vowel sounds at a time until students have them mastered.
To reinforce the vowel sounds I’ve taught, I use only CVC words with those specific vowels. That is why I’ve designed and organized these free CVC worksheets by vowel sound.
So, if you’ve only taught letters ‘o’ and ‘a,’ you can easily use only words with those sounds. As you teach additional vowel sounds, you can then print and add more flashcards for targeted practice.
Once all vowel sounds are taught, children can use all the flashcards for sorting practice! Since they are all CVC words, the way to sort these would be by vowel sounds. After they sort and read the words, they can match the words to the corresponding pictures.
👉 It’s important to note that all CVC words are closed syllables, meaning that the vowels will say the short sound because they are ‘closed in’ by a consonant.
Using nonsense words allows the teacher to see if students are mastering their letters and sounds because there is no room for guessing.
Example: If you present children with the nonsense word ‘tez,’ and they pronounce it ‘tease,’ then you know that they don’t recognize closed syllables since they aren’t applying the short sound of e. This would be something you would explicitly re-teach, model, and practice together.
Download & Print
This resource has 40 flashcards with practice CVC words, 8 for each short vowel.
- Short e: hen, web, bed, jet, net, pen, wet, pet.
- Short a: ham, fan, map, van, cat, can, nap, hat.
- Short i: zip, pig, rib, fin, sit, dig, pin, six.
- Short o: mop, pot, bot, box, cop, log, fox, fog.
- Short u: pup, rug, bug, cut, sun, tub, nut, mug.
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