CVC is the beginning…but CAN’T be the End! Let’s write BIG words in 4 Steps!

CVC is the beginning, but we can't put the limitations on their spelling. We have to show them they can go big.

You have read more than one CVC post from me. I believe in the power of a solid foundation in spelling starting with CVC.

CVC is a great place to start.

Starting VERY early in the school year, students are asked to stretch and blend sounds orally to create CVC words. With just a few solid letter/sound connections, students can start building words. CVC words can be morphed into creating words with onset and rime (if you know, then you know). Before you know it they are building CVC words all over the place.

CVC can’t be the ending.

CVC is the beginning...but CAN'T be the End! Let's write BIG words in 4 Steps!

BUT, we can’t let them rest on CVC. We need to make sure students know they can build bigger words CONTAINING CVC words! If your students can spell “sun,” they can also spell “suntan.” It’s just combining two CVC words…and once they KNOW they can do it…we need to challenge them.


First, tap the word suntan and place markers for each syllable (circle markers in the picture).

Next, tap each sound (phoneme) in the syllable and place a marker for each phoneme (square markers in the picture).

Then, write letters (grapheme) for each phoneme.

Last, write the combined word.

Done. It’s just that easy.

And they’ll think it’s easy, if we tell them it is and show them they can.

Interactive Kindergarten Writing

CVC is the beginning...but CAN'T be the End! Let's write BIG words in 4 Steps!

I am working with K-2 teachers in one particular school system with writing. One of teachers sent me this picture March 16. Students were guided through lessons with words like “school” and “learn.” These words contain consonant and vowel patterns they have not encountered in instruction. BUT, when the teachers got to the words “basketball” and “instruments,” she asked them to break it into syllables and spell each syllable…and they did. They were so excited. They kept telling everyone they saw they had spelled 10- and 11-letter words! They power of building big words. The teacher also said, “They love writing!” Isn’t that what it’s all about.

Don’t forget

Don’t forget…once they can write with blends, they can write with blends and CVC. SOOOO, when they can write “SAND,” they can also write “SANDLOT.”

AND when they can write with digraphs, they can write with digraphs and blends or digraphs and CVC. SOOOO, when they can write “BATH,” they can also write “BATHTUB.”

You get the idea. We can’t limit our students with CVC…we can make sure CVC is the A.MAZ.ING first step that it is.

If you’d like free spelling lists AND to join my email list, check out the form below.

Here are a CVC past posts few:

CVC – The Bridge Between Reading and Writing

CVC Lessons and Activities – Important Practice for Early Learners

My Alphabet Journals: Combining Word Work with Writing for Early Success

Using Magnet Letters: 6 Ideas for Building Foundation Success

Cathy Collier

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