How to teach sounding out of 3 letter words (CVC words)

How to teach sounding out of 3 letter words (CVC words)

Has your child just learnt all their alphabet sounds? Are you wondering where to go next?

Well the next steps are blending those sounds together to read or write short words. These short 3-lettered words are known as CVC words as they are typically made up of consonant-vowel-consonant words. So How do we teach the sounding of these 3 letter words effectively and creatively? Quite simply, what you need to do is: Teach your child to say out the sounds, stretch out the sounds, say them again a little faster, and then say the word, showing your children the steps to sounding out words. So here are some creative ways to get you started on how to teach sounding out of 3 letter words ie CVC words.


1. CVC words flipbook –This was probably the first time I introduced CVC words to Ammarah and found it to be highly interactive, useful flip book that made a lot of sense! The fact that each sound for the CVC word had the same picture in order to help the child match it all up and say the sound made so much sense! So I highly recommend something like this. I actually brought it from the 99p stores in the UK  – haven’t quite found an alternative on Amazon to post it here. However check out this puzzle that works similarly here.


2. Reading CVC words with picture clues is a great way to start – Our next steps after the flipbook above were to try and sound out the words without pictures – but using the pictures as clues! We downloaded, printed and laminated these awesome CVC word read and reveal flashcards from – My go to website with instant access to a complete range of teacher created, engaging and inspiring teaching, planning and assessment materials. They were a hit with my daughter straight away as she liked that she could check the answer herself by revealing the picture! The sound buttons and arrow showing the direction of blending is actually a fab feature because it reminds children to go back to the starting sound to blend the sounds together to read the words. You can download the read and reveal resources here but you will need a paid twinkl account which I highly recommend as you will have access to a wealth of resources at the touch of a button! The CVC Words Phoneme Graphic Organizers resource featured below (right hand side) is a great way to begin building those CVC words – you can download this resource from Twinkl here absolutely FREE! (I have been given a 6 months free subscription with Twinkl for reviewing their fab resources that I use in our homschool – all opinions and views are my own)



3. Fun interactive games – We stumbled across this awesome CVC word building game online and highly recommend it. I like that the sounds are heard when the child touches each letter, which works great for children mixing up sounds. This worked perfectly on our touchscreen laptop! The game featured in the picture below can be found here. For more on the variety of FREE games found on can be found here:

Another really awesome find was this Spell with Me game by Vtech bought at the Early Learning Centre. (featured in the pictures on the left hand side above) You can also find it on Amazon. It was a fantastic way of building up sounds and understanding how to make the word using the correct letters. It features an interactive spelling board, and help in learning the letter sounds on an interactive LCD screen. I highly recommend buying this if your child is beginning to read CVC words.


4. CVC word matching games by – To help with reading, I found these word matching games really useful. Ammarah enjoyed reading through the CVC words and matching them up to the correct pictures. The pictures also act as clues if your child is finding the blending of the sounds difficult. This is perfect for when you child has become more familiar with CVC words and needs a challenge! Kids will keep their reading and phonics skills on track with this fun resource from Be sure to check out the website for more reading and learning activities. (I received this lovely worksheet for free  – all opinions and views are my own)


5. Say it, Make it, Write it sheets by You Clever Monkey – These are really useful and have helped my daughter loads throughout her build up to reading. They are a great way to get started on reading and writing of CVC words together. You can place a CVC word in the ‘Say it’ box which works great for reading. Sound out each letter sound slowly and keep repeating it until you go faster and say the word. Try and stick to this way when attempting to blend sounds for reading. You then have to make the sound in the ‘Make it’ box. For this we use our small case magnetic letters, or letter lids I had made ready for this activity. And finally your child can attempt to write it in the ‘Write it’ box using a white board marker. Once your child gets familiar with this activity, you can always challenge them by just having the picture in the ‘Say it’ box like I have below so they sound out themselves to make the word. You can download these worksheets here.


For more on CVC words you can also check out our Teaching Tips video to give you more on how we used some of the resources above! – click here for more.



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