Kid-tested and enthusiastically approved! Introducing a printable English-language CVC game using one of kids’ favorite things: cookies. This game focuses on the “-ut” word family, so words like but, cut, nut, etc.
- Acquiring one-to-one letter sound correspondences
- Decoding three-letter words
- Isolating and pronouncing individual consonant and vowel sounds
- Developing and improving fine motor skills
- Copying individual letters to form three-letter CVC words
- Writing CVC words
- Forming new words with given letters
What Are CVC Words?
CVC stands for “consonant-vowel-consonant.” CVCs are three-letter words that are often introduced right after students have mastered letter sounds and are ready to learn to read and write.
In most areas, learners focus on the alphabet, or graphemes, in early preschool and corresponding sounds, or phonemes, in late preschool (PK) or kindergarten (K). Students generally start the process of learning to read and write full words in kindergarten or first grade. Of course, the timing of this process varies by school, learner, area, etc., and some students read and write much earlier or later than others. Check out this article for more information about the timing and process.
While there are a few exceptions, educators generally focus on CVC words that are easy to decode, which means students learn to sound them out by translating graphemes to phonemes. Or, worded another way, teachers often help students with the words that follow the “rules” first.
If you scan a shelf of beginning reading books aimed at PK-1st, you’ll probably notice many CVC words, such as cat, dog, etc. In fact, if you look carefully, you’ll probably see there are tons of books that include cats because teachers often begin with the “-at” word family.
Unfortunately, English sounds can be especially tricky simply because English has borrowed so many words from so many languages. This borrowing means that, unlike with Spanish and other languages, English vowels often make at least two sounds. This is one reason why, at least at the K-1st level, educators focus on the words and patterns that follow the “rules” and a handful, usually around 100, of sight words, discussed below.
What Are Sight Words?
Sight words are words that are ether difficult or impossible to pronounce or decode using the sounds typical of English letters. There are thousands of these words in English, but slowly learning a few hundred during elementary school usually leads to fluent reading, after which new sight words are generally acquired contextually over a lifetime.
As mentioned above, most K-1st students only acquire around 100 sights words, and it takes time for little learners to actually decipher the difference between memorization and sounding-out words. Students usually figure this out at some point in K-1st grade. Labeling words as part of CVC “word families” or as sight words helps learners understand this process more quickly.
Readers eventually realize they have to take a mental “picture” of sight words, whereas they can sound out or make new or even nonsense words with word families. With sight words, it helps to play a little game. Take a mental picture while making a camera “clicking” sound. Or, tell kids to “unzip” their brains and stick the words in and then “zip” their brains back up. They get a real kick out of this.
No matter how you help learners acquire words, having fun always helps. This is where the CVC printable cookie game comes into play. Here we’re focusing on the words that can (with one exception) be sounded out or the CVC word family -ut.
What’s Included in the CVC Printable Game
This version of the CVC Cookie game is a free sampler from a much bigger pack that I sell on TPT or MBT. So, while the big pack includes other word families, this free CVC printable cookie game includes only the -ut CVC word family.
If you want to buy the full pack that includes the other word families (-at, -et, -it, -ot) and extra worksheets, alphabet cookies, and so on, head on over to one of my stores (TPT or MBT). If you want the freebie, you can find it at the bottom of this page. All files include a black-and-white and color version.
Cookies are awesome all year, but this can be an especially fun pack to use around Christmas or other holidays that involve baked goods. If your learners enjoy putting out a plate of cookies for Santa or St. Nicholas, this might even be a good pack to send home for practice over the winter break.
Included is a plate with a u and t cookie already there. This will help little learners first focus on the beginning sounds of the word while recognizing that the “-ut” part of the word doesn’t usually change. Note that there is one exception here: the word put is actually a sight word because of the sound difference from the rest of the -ut word family. Just goes to show you that English is a weird, weird language.
Alphabet Cookies and Milk Glasses
Give kids a plate, and they’ll ask for food. This pack delivers! Here you’ll find a handful of alphabet cookies to arrange on the plate or even just on a desk or table. Or, skip ahead and use the provided worksheet.
Milk glasses, you say? Whether you’re a cookie dunker or not, kids get a real kick out of manipulating what they’re learning. We’ve included instructions for playing a cookie-dunking game that helps them repeat the sounds and words and gives them a chance to be imaginative with their learning. “I made a word” turns into pretending to dunk the cookie in the word milk glass. “This isn’t a real world” leads to the paper cookie’s getting dunked into the not a word milk glass. Add sound effects or pretend to eat the dunked cookie for extra fun.
We’ve included a generic worksheet that will work for both early and more advanced writers. You’ll notice you can actually arrange the cookies on the worksheet and then have students copy the words they created. Reading and writing practice? Yes, please!
Ideas, Tips, and Tricks
Below you’ll find some great tips and tricks for not busting your ink budget, working with your learners, and having fun with this printable CVC game.
Literacy Centers, Morning Baskets, or Stations
Learners actually need time to work through knowledge and to experiment with what they’re learning. In this case, setting up a literacy center, a grab-and-go morning basket, or a learning station will both allow kids space to do this and will give you some time to check on other students, work with other kids, or just grab a real cookie.
Reuse and Recycle Like Crazy
To reuse the pages, consider dry-erase markers and lamination, inexpensive sheet protectors like the ones that go in binders (our favorite), clear contact paper, or even clear moving tape. Then you can just write, swipe, and switch (or store and save for another learner, class, etc.).
Tape, Lay, or Assemble
We’ve included foldable stands for the milk glasses, but you can tape them to a wall, desk, or folder. Or you can just leave them flat. The choice is yours!
Got Thoughts on Cookies? Need More Printables?
We always love hearing from you or reading your comments below. Get in touch and tell us how you really feel about cookies! Are you a dunker? Do you dunk your cookies in something strange? Prefer chocolate to baked goods? We’d seriously love to know.
Looking for more English-language freebies? Check out more more free stuff here. We’ll try to get a CVC pack going for Spanish soon.