This free printable includes 5 worksheets for early readers to begin practicing middle sounds in CVC words. Each page is a “mystery” game with a vowel that has gone missing from every word on that page. Can you child be the detective that cracks the case of the missing CVC vowels?
What are CVC words?
CVC stands for consonant, vowel, consonant. Each CVC word is just 3 letters long and always in the consonant, vowel, consonant order. (So FLY is not a CVC word even though it’s only 3 letters long.)
Once your child understands the basics of beginning sounds, they can start thinking about MIDDLE SOUNDS. The middle sound in each CVC word is a vowel, so teaching CVC words also helps children begin to learn which letters are vowels.
CVC words are also a great way to start introducing phonics. Many CVC words can be taught in family sets that rhyme, which helps kids group new words together in a meaningful way that increases memory retention. For example, the “at” family includes at, cat, hat, mat, rat, and sat.
CVC Words Mystery Activity
This printable focuses on middle sounds in groups. Each word on a given page is missing the same middle sound (a vowel). Grouping CVC words like this helps kids cement their understanding of middle sounds even with a variety of word endings and beginnings. Introducing word families that rhyme (like the “at” family) is one way to start CVC words. If you want kids to practice truly sounding out each letter one-by-one, though, it’s helpful to try grouping CVC words by middle sound with different end sounds.
This game uses that method. The sheet that’s missing the ‘i’ sound has four words with different beginning and end sounds, but all with the same middle sound. (Lid, pig, pin, lip.) The sheet missing the ‘a’ sound includes sad, bag, cat, and fan.
This activity is most fun if played as a mystery game! Your kiddo must discover the missing vowel using their detective skills. Everything is in uppercase letters, so it’s okay if your child is still shaky on some of the lowercase letters like b/d differentiation.