CVC Word List and Teaching Ideas (Free Printables)

All the CVC words you need to teach kids to read and then some.

Printable CVC word list on a desk with CVC word flashcards.
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CVC words are a staple in any kindergarten, first grade, and even second grade classroom. We all read them, we all use them, and for many students they’re the first words that make them feel like readers. Here are all the lists and resources you need to teach CVC words.

Plus grab our free printable CVC word list and cards. Then try some of the activities below.

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Why are CVC words so important?

CVC words are some of the first words students learn to read. They have a simple pattern—consonant-vowel-consonant—which makes it easier for students to blend the sounds into words. Even when students know all their letter sounds, these words are short enough that they don’t require too much working memory to blend from start to finish.

CVC words are also words that students can manipulate easily, switching out beginning and ending sounds to make new words and strengthening their phonemic awareness. Replacing the /c/ in cat for /r/ to make rat, for example.


And CVC words form the basis for syllables later. CVC words and the skills students use to sound out CVC words come into play when students sound out two- and three-syllable words like hamlet or miracle.

CVC Word Lists

Two printable CVC word list on a desk.
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These CVC word lists by family organize all the CVC words you need to know to make finding the right word and organizing instruction easy. One note: CVC words may have three or four letters depending on the sounds that are used. So, the word “chap” can be a CVC word in the “ap” family because /ch/ is a single sound.

Short ‘a’ Word List

ab: cab, dab, gab, jab, lab, nab, tab, blab, crab, grab, scab, stab, slab

at: bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat, sat, vat, brat, chat, flat, gnat, spat

ad: bad, dad, had, lad, mad, pad, sad, tad, glad

an: ban, can, fan, man, pan, ran, tan, van, clan, plan, scan, than

ag: bag, gag, hag, lag, nag, rag, sag, tag, wag, brag, drag, flag, snag, stag

ap: cap, gap, lap, map, nap, rap, sap, tap, yap, zap, chap, clap, flap, slap, snap, trap

am: bam, dam, ham, jam, ram, yam, clam, cram, scam, slam, spam, swam, tram, wham

ack: back, hack, jack, lack, pack, rack, sack, tack, black, crack, shack, snack, stack, quack, track

ash: bash, cash, dash, gash, hash, lash, mash, rash, sash, clash, crash, flash, slash, smash

More words: gal, pal, gas, yak, wax, tax, bath, math

Short ‘e’ Word List

ed: bed, fed, led, red, wed, bled, bred, fled, pled, sled, shed

eg: beg, keg, leg, peg

et: bet, get, jet, let, met, net, pet, set, vet, wet, yet, fret

en: den, hen, men, pen, ten, then, when

eck: beck, deck, neck, peck, check, fleck, speck, wreck

ell: bell, cell, dell, jell, sell, tell, well, yell, dwell, shell, smell, spell, swell

More words: yes, web, gem, hem, pep, step

Short ‘i’ Word List

it: bit, fit, hit, kit, lit, pit, sit, wit, knit, quit, slit, spit

id: bid, did, hid, kid, lid, rid, skid, slid

ig: big, dig, fig, gig, jig, pig, rig, wig, zig, twig

im: dim, him, rim, brim, grim, skim, slim, swim, trim, whim

ip: dip, hip, lip, nip, rip, sip, tip, zip, chip, clip, drip, flip, grip, ship, skip, slip, snip, trip, whip

ick: kick, lick, nick, pick, sick, tick, wick, brick, chick, click, flick, quick, slick, stick, thick, trick

ish: fish, dish, wish, swish

in: bin, din, fin, pin, sin, tin, win, chin, grin, shin, skin, spin, thin, twin

More words: him, this, mix, six, fix, crib

Short ‘o’ Word List

ot: cot, dot, got, hot, jot, lot, not, pot, rot, tot, blot, knot, plot, shot, slot, spot

ob: cob, gob, job, lob, mob, rob, sob, blob, glob, knob, slob, snob

og: bog, cog, dog, fog, hog, jog, log, blog, clog, frog

op: cop, hop, mop, pop, top, chop, crop, drop, flop, glop, plop, shop, slop, stop

ock: dock, lock, rock, sock, tock, block, clock, flock, frock, shock smock, stock

More words: box, fox, pox, rod, sod, mom

Short ‘u’ Word List

ub: cub, hub, nub, rub, sub, tub, grub, snub, stub

ud: bud, cud, dud, mud, spud, stud, thud

ug: bug, dug, hug, jug, lug, mug, pug, rug, tug, drug, plug, slug, snug

um: bum, gum, hum, mum, sum, chum, drum, glum, plum, scum, slum

un: bun, fun, gun, nun, pun, run, sun, spun, stun

ut: but, cut, gut, hut, jut, nut, rut, shut

uck: buck, duck, luck, muck, puck, suck, tuck, yuck, chuck, cluck, pluck, stuck, truck

ush: gush, hush, lush, mush, rush, blush, brush, crush, flush, slush

More words: pup, cup, bus

How To Use the CVC Word Lists and Cards

CVC word flashcards on a desk.
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There are plenty of creative ways to use these CVC word lists. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Magnet-Word Building

Provide letter blocks or letter magnets and have students build CVC words using them.

Word Puzzles

Create puzzles where each piece contains a letter, and have students assemble them to form CVC words.

Picture-Word Matching

Provide pictures of CVC words along with the corresponding words. Ask students to match them.

Word Bingo

Create bingo cards with CVC words. Call out words, and children mark them if they have them on their card.

Memory Game

Make pairs of cards with CVC words. Place them face down and have students turn over two cards at a time to find matching pairs.

Write and Erase

Write CVC words on a whiteboard or paper. Have students read the word, then erase it and write it themselves.

Scavenger Hunt

Hide cards or objects with CVC words around the room. Students have to find them and read the words.

CVC Word Sorting

Provide a mix of CVC word cards. Have students sort them based on their vowel sound.

Fill in the Blanks

Provide sentences with missing CVC words. Have students fill in the blanks.

Rhyming Words

Present a CVC word and ask students to come up with rhyming words.

Roll and Read

Write CVC word endings (e.g., -at, -in, -og) on dry-erase dice. Have students roll the dice and read a word with that ending.

Story Creation

Encourage students to create a short story using a set of CVC words.

Get Your Free CVC Words Printable

Two printable CVC word lists on a desk with CVC word flashcards.
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Print copies of the word list and cards to keep on hand for spelling lists and instructional examples, as well as games and activies like the ones above.

For more word lists, check out Silent E Words and How To Teach Them.

What are your favorite tips for teaching CVC words? Come share in the We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.