Teaching CVC and CVCE Words In First Grade

First grade is an important year for phonics. There is SO much to learn during the school year in our phonics lessons and some of our topics can be a little tricky for my firsties! Every year, it seems that CVC and CVCE words really trip up my kiddos. And with good reason- these are easy to confuse! Are you looking for a way to help your students master CVC or CVCE words? Today, I'll be sharing a few tips (and a freebie) that work well in my room!

Teaching CVC and CVCE Words in First Grade is fun and easy with these tips and exciting activities your students will love.

CVCE words are tricky! Teaching your firsties all about "silent" or "sneaky" e in CVCE words can be a bit confusing at first. Children often mix up look-alike words such as "tap" and "tape" and easily forget that short vowels make a different sound than long vowels. The solution to this is lots and lots of practice and repetition. As with anything, continued daily practice in your literacy centers will help reinforce this skill and help young learners really grasp this tough topic! Try using some of these techniques when working on this skill in your classroom. 

Introducing CVC and CVCE Words

When we are first introducing this new topic, I  find it helpful to spend a fair amount of time brainstorming CVC and CVCE words with my students. I like to provide an introduction to "silent e" by using examples of words with the silent e and sounding them out together with my students. 

Helping your students understand CVC and CVCE words can be done in a whole group setting using whiteboards like these for students to practice writing words and adding the sneaky e to the end.
I will choose a word like "kite" and ask my students to help me sound it out as I write the letters they hear on the board. This is a great activity for small groups so that you can ensure you have full attention! As students sound out the word, they will likely spell out "k-i-t" to you. 

This is when you can introduce our new "sneaky e". Explain to students that sometimes, "sneaky e" comes along to help our vowel say its name, making it a long vowel. I'll add the e on my word and then sound out "kite" with my students again, pointing out how the e is silent in this word.

From here, I will also write the word "kit" and ask students to sound that out. We chat about the different sounds vowels can make depending on whether it is a short or long vowel. This lesson is a good one to revisit a few times until your students are comfortable with this new concept! 

Hands-On Practice Activities

Once your students seem to be getting the hang of your introduction to "sneaky e", it's time to start practicing! I love having my students do this with dry erase boards or magnet letters. 

Hands on pratice with letter magnets like these will help your students learn the process of spelling these sneaky words.
If you're using dry erase boards, you can have your students practice sorting and writing CVC and CVCE words on their own. I like to do this by making some simple flashcards on index cards with common words. Students will get a stack of flashcards and work in pairs to identify which words have a long vowel and which have a short vowel. Students can work together to sort the cards and then write them on their boards. 

Another option is to use magnet letters. You will use the same process, except students will build their words rather than write them. Both of these options are a quick and easy way to check in with students on their understanding of this concept without having to gather a ton of materials. 

After students have sorted their words and written or built them out, have them take turns reading their word lists to you. 

Make CVC and CVCE Words Fun! 

Since this is a bit of a tricky topic, I always plan to spend a good amount of time working on it with my kiddos. We do lots of brainstorming and utilize hands-on practice, but I also like to add an extra element of fun to this lesson to keep my students interested.

Using coloring activities like these will help students practice and self check their understanding of the CVC and CVCE words they are learning.
Adding some fun to the mix is easy with "Mystery Puzzles". My students LOVE this activity and it allows for plenty of practice sorting and reading CVC and CVCE words in a new, engaging way! 

In this "Mystery Puzzles" activity, children will cut apart a worksheet into "puzzle" pieces. Each piece lists either a CVC or CVCE word. Students will read the word, find the corresponding picture, and then glue their puzzle pieces down. Once all the pieces are glued down, the mystery picture will be revealed! 

This is a great activity to use during centers as a follow-up to your small group lesson and hands-on work. Students are always eager to participate in this activity since it involves "solving a mystery" and creating a fun picture. Once their pictures are complete students can color them in to finish the activity. 

Before you know it, your students will be naturally distinguishing short and long vowel sounds.  Practice is really the key to helping them develop an eye for that sneaky little letter at the end of words.  

Grab Your Free CVC or CVCE Mystery Puzzles

While this concept of "sneaky e" can be a little tricky at first, I find that using this activity really grabs the interest of my students and makes it super fun to teach! This free set of CVC and CVCE word mystery puzzles includes a puzzle for each short/long vowel sound.  It's a great way to give students the repeated practice they need.

Want to get your hands on your very own set of CVC or CVCE Word Mystery Puzzles? Click the image below to snag your copy and enhance your phonics lessons! Have fun practicing this concept in your classroom!

These mystery pictures are the perfect way to keep your students engaged and excited about learning CVC and CVCE words.

With a combination of hands-on activities and these fun short and long vowel mystery pictures, your students will love practicing CVC and CVCE words.  

Save This Post For Later

Don't forget to pin this post to your favorite classroom Pinterest board for when you're ready to teach CVC and CVCE words in your room! 

Teaching CVC and CVCE Words in First Grade doesn't have to be a challenge. It can be fun and easy for you and your students with these engaging activities geared towards teaching, practicing, and mastering understanding of CVC and CVCE words. #cvcwords #cvcewords #firstgradephonics

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