CVC Word Lists – Free Printables

What are CVC Words?

CVC is an abbreviation used to describe words that contain a consonant followed by a vowel and then another consonant.  Examples of CVC words include ‘hot’, ‘bug’, ‘pen’ and ‘cap’.  

Why Teach CVC Words?

CVC words are some of the easiest words for beginning readers to blend and segment during the early stages of phonics instruction. 

Kids need lots of practice reading CVC words to develop their phonemic awareness before they’re introduced to more complex words.

Although CVC words are quite common, it can be difficult to think of enough examples when you are teaching, so we’ve made several sets of free printable CVC word lists so you will always have plenty to use…  

CVC word family

Our short vowel lists contain common word families.

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Our lists are ordered in a variety of ways so you can use them for different purposes.  See our guidance notes below for more information about these lists.

If you would like more information about using CVC words, see our article about teaching phonics.

You might also find our free CVC segmenting worksheets and blending activities and games useful.

Free Printable CVC Word Lists…

CVC Words in Alphabetical Order 

A comprehensive list of common and less familiar CVC words.

CVC words in alphabetical order
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Over 120 Common CVC Words in Random Order

Good for assessing progress.  Your child will have to concentrate more carefully to read these words because they aren’t arranged in an obvious pattern. 

Common CVC words in random order
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CVC Words Containing ‘Short a’

These are arranged in two separate lists:  First they are grouped alphabetically with only the last letter changing and then they are arranged in groups with common word endings to make word families.

CVC Words containing short a.
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CVC Words Containing ‘Short e’

These are arranged in two separate lists:  First they are grouped alphabetically with only the last letter changing and then they are arranged in groups with common word endings to make word families.

CVC Words containing short e
Click on the image to view and download the pdf document.

CVC Words Containing ‘Short i’

These are arranged in two separate lists:  First they are grouped alphabetically with only the last letter changing and then they are arranged in groups with common word endings to make word families.    

CVC Words containing short i
Click on the image to view and download the pdf document.

CVC Words Containing ‘Short o’

These are arranged in two separate lists:  First they are grouped alphabetically with only the last letter changing and then they are arranged in groups with common word endings to make word families.

CVC Words containing short o.
Click on the image to view and download the pdf document.

CVC Words Containing ‘Short u’

These are arranged in two separate lists:  First they are grouped alphabetically with only the last letter changing and then they are arranged in groups with common word endings to make word families.

CVC Words containing short u.
Click on the image to view and download the pdf document.

CVC Words – Swapping Vowels

Groups of CVC words where only the vowels differ.  For example, bag, beg, big, bog and bug…

CVC Words - swapping vowels
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Short Words Containing ‘ck’

These aren’t strictly CVC words, but they contain the same pattern of sounds as CVC words.  They can be read in the same way if you instruct your child that ‘ck’ just represents one sound.

Short words containing ck
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CVC Words for Smooth/Continuous Blending

Click on the heading above to download the free pdf document.

Guidance Notes...

All of the words in our lists are real words (or at least Scrabble words) and many of them are common, but some are abbreviations and a few have informal spellings or they are slang words.  However, they are all words that can appear in literature.  (We’ve tried to avoid any potentially rude words, although meanings can differ in different locations). 

In the beginning, it’s best to stick to words that your child is familiar with.  But once they become more fluent, you can also let them try some words they haven’t heard before. 

This is important because unusual words can appear often in children’s literature (particularly for fictional character or place names).  Your child might also be tested with pseudo / nonsense words in a phonics check at school.

You will notice that we’ve included words that start with ‘qu’.  These aren’t strictly CVC words because they have an extra letter.  But many phonics programmes teach the letter combination ‘qu’ as if it’s an individual letter because q and u almost always appear together in words.

Also note that some of the words might have a different sound for the letter ‘u’ in some accents.  For example the word ‘put’ might have a different vowel sound than the one in ‘cup’.   Just use the sounds that are normal for your local accent and let your child know that the same letter can sometimes represent more than one sound.

It’s important to start your child with words that contain the most common letter-sound relationships initially.  So all of the words in our lists contain the ‘short’ vowel sounds found in words such as ‘cat’, ‘bed’, ‘pig’, ‘dog’ and ‘cup’.  We’ve also avoided words where the consonants represent alternative sounds, such as in the word ‘gym’.

We’ve compiled a list of words to avoid with beginning readers below:

  • bah, bar, bay, bey, bow, boy, bur, buy,
  • car, caw, cig, cor, cow, coy,
  • dah, day, dew, duh,
  • far, Fay, few, fey, fir, for, fur,
  • gay, gel, gem, gib, gin, gor, guy, gym,
  • hah, has, hay, her, hew, hey, his, how, hoy, huh,
  • jar, jaw, jay, Jew, joy,
  • Kay, key,
  • lar, law, lay, low,
  • mar, maw, may, mew, mic, mow,
  • nah, nay, new, nor, now,
  • pah, par, paw, pay, per, pew, pow, pur,
  • quad, quay,
  • rah, raw, ray, reg, row,
  • saw, say, sew, sir, son, sow, soy,
  • tar, ton, tor, tow, toy,
  • veg, vow,
  • wan, war, was, way, won, wow,
  • yah, yar, yaw, yay, yew,

If you found the resources on this page helpful, you might also like our free CVC segmenting worksheets.

 

Further Resources:

Your children can also practise reading CVC words for free if you register with some of the specialist reading programmes that offer free trials.

For example:

Parents and teachers can register for a 30-day free trial with Reading Eggs.  This allows you to access over 500 highly interactive games and fun animations for developing Phonemic awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension.

Learn to Read! For ages 2-13

A 30-day free trial is also available from ABCmouse.com.  This is a leading online educational website for children ages 2–8. With more than 9,000 interactive learning activities that teach reading, math, science, art, music, and more.

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Although it’s not quite free, you can get a 30-day trial with the award-winning Hooked on Phonics programme for just $1.

IXL Learning cover 8000 skills in 5 subjects including phonics and reading comprehension.  You can click on the following link to access a 7-day free trial if you live in the US.

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See also our free phonemic awareness/phonics blending activities and games – a variety of free downloadable activities and games to improve phonics blending skills.  CVC words and words containing adjacent consonants/consonant blends. 

Click on the following link to access some of our other free phonics and phonological awareness worksheets and printable resources.