Once your little decoders have become experts in CVC words, they can move on to CVCe words! (Also known as “silent e” or “magic e” words.”) But sometimes it’s easy to get stuck when it comes to CVCe words. These types of words have a consonant, vowel, consonant, and then the letter e. The /e/ at the end of the word usually makes the vowel “say its name,” which means it becomes a long vowel sound. Even though the /e/ isn’t actually pronounced, it’s often called a silent, sneaky, or “magic e.” Some examples of CVCe words are:
Here are 3 fun ways to practice CVCe Words with your students that only take 5 minutes!
1. Magic E and CVCe Words
This Magic E poem and wand are a great way to introduce your students to CVCe Words. The poem explains how the /e/ at the end of the word makes the first vowel say its name – or the long vowel sound. You will still want to explicitly point out to students that the magic e at the end of the word is silent. Each line of the poem contains a CVCe word that you and your students can identify to practice reading CVCe words. I like to display the poem on the board or on larger chart paper and then use a highlighter to identify these words.
The poem is short but easy for students to remember and recall as they are learning to decode CVCe words. After reading the poem I introduce the Magic E Wands, which are easily made by printing the stars and gluing them onto a popsicle stick, pencil, or other pointer like item. These are great to use in small group where students can practice using the Magic E to turn CVC words into CVCe words. Click HERE to use the poem and make the wands for your classroom with this free download.
2. Decodable Sentence Strips
There are so many ways to use these decodable sentence strips in your classroom! You can bring them into your small group instruction as a warm up to practice decoding CVCe words in a sentence. After students are familiar with how to use them, they can also be added as an independent literacy center or early finisher activity. Just hole punch the sentences and add a binder ring to create fun and easily portable fluency activity that your students will enjoy reading again and again!
Just like decodable readers, these decodable sentences build on each other. CVCe vowel a sentences will include only long vowel a words. CVCe vowel e sentences will include long vowel a and long vowel e CVCe words. This allows students to continue to practice previous phonics skills while learning to decode new ones! You can create your own Decodable Sentence Rings with CVCe word HERE.
3. Use Sounds Boxes
Presenting CVCe words in sound boxes can serve as a strong visual reminder to students. Sound boxes are used to represent each sound in a word. In the example below for cave, C/A/V are each placed in their own individual sound box.
The /e/ is placed in an open box to serve as a visual reminder that it does not make its own sound in this word, but that it still has an important job to do. It makes the /a/ in the word say its name. You can do this during a whole group phonics lesson or during explicit CVCe word instruction during your small groups.
Ready to Decode CVCe Words
It’s important that we provide students with opportunities to read and write CVCe words as they are learning this important phonic pattern. I hope these activities are helpful and gave you some ideas for ways to practice CVCe words with your students!