CVC Words


Here are 4 sets of consonant-vowel-consonant pattern words with short vowel sounds. Sets have a small number of CCVC and CVCC words, too.



These cards are suitable for beginning readers of any age who need practice decoding letter sounds and blending them together.

Most of the words in the sets below are 3-letter CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, with just a few 4-letter words mixed in (CCVC and CVCC). All of the words have short vowel sounds. Each set progressively adds more letters and sounds to decode.

When to Introduce CVC Words

After students have learned the individual sounds of the letters of the English alphabet, your next step is to teach your class to put those sounds together. Usually CVC words are the first words to teach when introducing reading by phonics.

How quickly or slowly you teach English phonics will depend on whether your students can already read in their native language and whether Language 1 is phonetic, uses the roman alphabet, reads left-to-right, etc.

CVC Word Sets

This particular groupings of letters, in non-alphabetical order, comes from the Jolly Phonics method. Visit their website to learn more about their method and to purchase their extensive materials.

When making these free sets I’ve tried to choose vocabulary words that will be familiar to young ESL students. However, for the sake of reading practice I’ve included some words that will probably be new. These words cards do not have pictures, so to teach the meaning of the words you will have to draw and mime. Of course that’s the fun part!

With very young learners, you can pick out only the nouns and present tense verbs from this list, such as: ant and pan, pat and sit. Who wants to mime “it”?

Preview of Checklist, Set 1 - s a t p i n

Checklist, Set 1 - s a t p i n

99 KB 1 Page

Word list for CVC Set 1 (S A T P I N).

Preview of Words only, Set 1 - s a t p i n

Words only, Set 1 - s a t p i n

722 KB 3 Pages

A set of 2-, 3- and 4-letter words made using only the letters: S, A, T, P, I, N. Fourteen words follow the CVC pattern, the rest are a mix of VC, CCVC, and other patterns.

24 cards.


at, in, it, ant, nap, pan, pat, pin, pit, sap, sat, sit, sip, tan, tap, tin, tip, pant, snap, snip, spin, spit, spat, pants

Preview of Checklist, Set 2 - c k e h r m d

Checklist, Set 2 - c k e h r m d

159 KB 1 Page

Word list for CVC Set 2 (S A T P I N + C K E H R M D)

Preview of Words only, Set 2 - c k e h r m d

Words only, Set 2 - c k e h r m d

1 MB 5 Pages

A set of words made up of letters C K E H R M D in addition to Set 1 letters. Set 2 contains thirty CVC words and fourteen 4-letter letter words with blends.

44 cards.


can, cap, cat, did, dip, had, ham, hat, hen, hid, him, hip, hit, kid, mad, man, map, mat, men, met, pen, pet, ram, ran, rat, red, rip, sad, set, ten, camp, damp, dent, hand, hint, kept, mend, melt, mint, mist, rest, risk, sent, step

Preview of Checklist, Set 3 - g o u l f b

Checklist, Set 3 - g o u l f b

160 KB 1 Page

Word list for CVC Set 3 (+ G O U L F B).

Preview of Words only, Set 3 - g o u l f b

Words only, Set 3 - g o u l f b

1 MB 5 Pages

Set 3 contains thirty-two CVC words, plus twelve 4-letter words. This set adds the letters G, O, U, L, F, B to the letters from Sets 1 and 2.

44 cards.


bad, bat, bed, big, bit, bus, but, cut, dot, dug, fat, fit, fun, gap, get, got, hop, hot, leg, let, lid, lip, lit, log, lot, mug, not, pot, rot, rug, sun, tug, best, bill, clap, club, flat, gift, grub, help, loft, lump, milk, stop

Preview of Checklist, Set 4 - j z w v y z

Checklist, Set 4 - j z w v y z

162 KB 1 Page

Word list for CVC Set 4 (+ J Z W V Y X).

Preview of Words only, Set 4 - j z w v y z

Words only, Set 4 - j z w v y z

1 MB 5 Pages

Set 4 contains 3-letter CVC pattern words, plus 18 4-letter words. Words in the set contain the letters J, Z, W, V, Y, and X, in addition to the letters from the previous sets.

43 cards.

18 comments for CVC Words

  1. KrisW

    Great work, thank you very much for sharing. I’ll be using these in my ESL classes 😀

  2. Karen

    Super! Glad to hear it!

  3. Stephen Fein

    I just wanted to send you a quick ‘thanks’ for your helpful material. I am just returning to ESL after a 25 year hiatus and this is one of the best online resources I have found. Thanks again

  4. Karen

    Thanks Stephen, that’s nice to hear!

  5. Tonya

    CVC – it’s genius idea, thank you so much for your work! useful and very easy for kids to learning how to read! Wonderful! I just hope, that in a future we would see something like CCVC, CVCC, CVCV etc 😉

  6. Karen

    Thanks for the ideas, Tonya!

  7. Amanda

    just wondering why zebra is included in the CVC words considering it is not a CVC word and also has a long e sound ….

    • Karen

      Some regions do pronounce zebra with a short e, however you’re right that it isn’t a CVC word, oops. I guess zebras are just sneaky animals :S

  8. Marquerita

    Thank you for the great resources!

  9. Karen

    You’re welcome!

  10. Shelly

    Thanks a lot for sharing such amazing resources!
    Helps a lot!

    • Karen

      Glad to hear that!

  11. ionela

    Thanks a million for sharing these helpful resources!

    • Karen

      You’re welcome! 🙂

  12. Ana Cruz

    This is awesome! Thank you!

  13. Alan

    Thank you for all of these wonderful free resources. It can be incredibly time consuming to find quality free resources for my students, and I always wonder why more people who love to educate don’t offer free materials. I hope to be able to give back myself and create free resources for teachers and ELLs myself in the future and hope that others do the same!

  14. Karen

    You’re welcome, and good luck with your projects!


    Thanks for this fabulous resource. I use them in my R.T.I groups and I created some games to use with the flashcards.

  16. Stefanie

    Thank you very much.

  17. Karen

    You’re welcome, both 🙂

  18. Susan Jonely

    Thanks so much for all the resources you have created and shared. They are truly appreciated.

    • Karen

      I hope they’re useful 🙂

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