EL Support Lesson

So Many Sounds in a CVC Word

This lesson plan is a great way to introduce or review the concept of identifying letter sounds within CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. You can use this as a stand-alone lesson or a as a support lesson for the Read with Beads lesson plan.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Read with Beads lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Read with Beads lesson plan.

Students will be able to recognize that a three-letter word is made up of three distinct sounds.


Students will be able to identify the beginning, middle, and ending sounds in CVC words using visual and kinesthetic supports.

(3 minutes)
  • Begin the class by demonstrating how to play the game, Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes with your class.
  • Model how to begin at your head and end at your toes.
  • Explain that today students will be learning how to listen for the different sounds letters make in a word, using their body to help them.
(8 minutes)
  • Preview the tiered vocabulary words for this lesson by displaying each card and providing a brief definition as needed.
  • Display one of the vocabulary word cards (e.g., bus) and point to each of the three letters while saying their names b-u-s. Then say, "I know that each of these letters makes a sound. When you put the letters together you can read the whole word."
  • Model how to say the word slowly and as you say each distinct sound by touching your head, shoulders, and knees as you say each sound.
  • Explain that if the word had more sounds you would continue to your toes. Have the students repeat the word and movements with you, making sure that the three sounds are emphasized.
  • Point to each letter in the word again, and say, "Together b-u-s spells the word bus!"
(5 minutes)
  • Display additional CVC vocabulary word cards (or create new ones) to further practice identifying the sounds each letter makes.
  • Point to one of the cards (e.g., sun) and ask the class to say the word aloud after you. Then, have them turn to a partner and practice stretching the word out using the head/shoulder/knees physical activity.
  • Invite the students to turn back to the front and as a group stretch the word into three sounds, then say the complete word smoothly.
(8 minutes)
  • Explain that now students will get to practice stretching out and listening for the sounds in words with a partner.
  • Pair students together and pass out one to two vocabulary cards to each pair.
  • Have students practice saying the word aloud, then stretching out the sounds in each word using the physical activity introduced earlier in the lesson.
  • Encourage students to say a sentence aloud using the vocabulary word. For example, "The sun is bright."


  • Group students together who need additional practice.
  • Provide additional images or physical objects for students to identify the individual sounds in the beginning, middle, and end of each word.


  • Have students come up with additional words for their partner to segment into sounds.
(2 minutes)
  • Circulate around the room as students are working in their partnerships. Assess if students are able to accurately identify the three distinct sounds in each word.
  • Take note of students who are confused and/or not able to distinguish each letter sound.
(3 minutes)
  • Gather the group back together and practice reading (and segmenting) one or two additional words.
  • Close by applauding student effort and encouraging them to listen for the sounds in words.

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