What is CVC

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So, apparently CVC books are what your kid needs. Am I right?

The question is, what the heck is a CVC?  

CVC stands for
Consonant Vowel Consonant.

It’s a term used to identify
small words that include three sounds
a consonant, a vowel and another consonant.

Example: map, leg, pit, dog, cup.

Beginner readers that contain CVC words are the best place to start when teaching a child to read as there is no confusion about what sound the vowel makes. It is always the ‘short’ sound not the letter name (e.g. ‘a’ as in apple not ‘ay’ as in ‘ape’). This VOWEL CONSISTENCY helps beginner readers enjoy some early success when sounding out words.

 CVC words

Sometimes the term CVC is also used when describing simple books that contain… wait for it… digraphs.

For example: chat, when, thin, shop, dish, cash, ring

We’ll talk more about digraphs another time but basically a digraph is when a two-letter combo represents one unique sound. For example when we see the letters ‘s’ and ‘h’ together we say ‘shhhhh’. These words still only have three SOUNDS (even though they have four letters) which is why they sometimes get loosely referred to as CVC as well.

When choosing beginner readers:
look for ones containing simple CVC words first
then move on to ones containing simple 3-sound
words that include sh, ch, wh, th and ng.


Every phonics program follows a sequence so start with the ‘Set 1’ collection and work up slowly from there.

Click here to view our list of recommended beginner CVC readers that support the Read3 sequence, and details on where to buy them. 

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