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Phonics Word List Generator!

(300 max, and note: if there aren't enough words on our lists that meet your criteria, the PDF may have fewer words)

STEP 1: Select which phonics features to include. (required!)

Real words Nonsense words
CVC (ex: cat, rag, bed)
Digraph (ex: chat, ship, neck)
Consonant blend (ex: blot, self, twist)
R-controlled vowels (ex: car, firm, fork)
Silent E (ex: jade, dime, bone)
Vowel teams (ex: aim, food, sour)

STEP 2: Select sounds to include. (optional!)

Click "include selected sounds" to see options. Only the sounds that you select will be included in the word list. This feature is useful if you haven't taught every sound yet and only want to include sounds that your students know. For example, a kindergarten teacher at the beginning of the year might want CVC words that contain only b, t, f, m, n, a, and i.
Include all sounds Only include selected sounds

STEP 3: Select focus sound. (optional!)

Click "select focus sound" to see options. You can select ONE focus sound, and EVERY word in the list will contain this sound. You might use it when you are introducing a new phonics feature. For example, you might want a list of words that all contain the vowel team "ai" to give your students plenty of practice with the new sound.
Do not select focus sound Select focus sound

How to use the phonics word list generator

This word list generator is open-ended, so it can meet your needs in the classroom! It is a free phonics resource that can adapt to students at a variety of levels and can teach a variety of phonics skills. You can create a free, printable word list or free, printable word cards.

The phonics word list generator currently includes real and nonsense words with the following patterns: CVC, consonant digraphs, consonant blends (CCVC and CVCC), r-controlled vowels, silent e (VCe), and vowel teams. We will add more patterns over time.

To create a word list or word cards, simply select the phonics features you want to include. You can select as many or as few as you’d like. All the words on your list will contain at least one of the phonics features that you have selected.

For a more diverse word list, we’d recommend selecting all of the concepts you have taught. For example, you could select CVC words, digraph words, consonant blend words, and r-controlled vowel words to allow your students to review everything they’ve learned.

For a more targeted word list, we’d recommend selecting fewer concepts. For example, you could select only r-controlled vowels to create a list in which every word will contain an r-controlled vowel.

If you haven’t taught all of the letters or sounds yet, don’t worry! You can choose to include only certain letters. This can be a useful tool in the following situations:

After creating your list, simply click on “Generate word list” or “Generate word cards” to create and download your free, printable PDF. Then, just repeat the process if you’d like to create a new list. Unlimited free word lists are at your fingertips!

Understanding our phonics features

What are CVC words?

CVC words are any three-letter words that follow a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern. They are the easiest words to read because they contain only three letters and short vowel sounds. Examples of CVC words are: cat, hem, sit, pot, run. Examples of CVC nonsense words are: lat, rix, weg.

Our CVC words do not include soft g or soft c (for example, gem or cel). They also do not include the ending sounds am or an, since some phonics programs teach these as separate glued or welded sounds.

Some of our CVC words have more than three letters, as we classify qu as a single consonant. If you’d like to eliminate qu words from your list, simply create a list that does not include qu.

What are digraphs?

Digraphs (or “consonant digraphs”) are two letters that make a single sound when put together. The digraphs we use are: wh, ch, sh, th, and ck. Wh can only go at the beginning of a word, and ck can only go at the end of a word. The other sounds can appear anywhere within the word. Examples of words with digraphs are: which, much, ship, with, pack. Examples of digraph nonsense words are: chack, pash, thex.

What are consonant blends?

Consonant blends are two consonants that go together but still make two separate sounds. These can appear at the beginning or at the end of a word. Sometimes words with consonant blends are called CCVC words or CVCC words, depending on if the consonant blend comes before or after the vowel. CCVCC words are words that have a consonant blend at the beginning and the end of the word. We prefer to use the term “consonant blends” to clearly distinguish between blends and digraphs, which both have two consonants in a row. Examples of words with consonant blends are: slip, tend, grunt. Examples of consonant blend nonsense words are: plag, gresp, posk.

What are r-controlled vowels?

When a vowel is followed by the letter r, the vowel changes its sound. The r-controlled vowels we use are: ar, er, ir, or, ur. Examples of words with r-controlled vowels are: car, fern, fir, port, curl. Examples of nonsense words with r-controlled vowels are: barp, hork, mern.

What are silent e words?

Silent e words, also known as VCe words, are words in which the vowel makes its long sound, rather than its short sound, because the word ends with an e. Examples of silent e words are: make, here, pine, robe, cube. Examples of silent e nonsense words are: gabe, bice, quebe.

Note that g, c, and sometimes s change their sound when followed by a silent e (e.g., nice, page, nose). Our VCe word lists do include words that end with -ce, -ge, and -se. If you would prefer not to include these words, perhaps if your students are in the early stages of learning to read words with VCe patterns, we recommend that you exclude the consonants c, g, and s from your search.

What are vowel teams?

Vowel teams (also known as vowel digraphs) are two vowels that work together to make one sound. Although teachers often use the phrase “When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking” when teaching vowel teams, this rule does not apply in all cases, and we recommend instead teaching each vowel team with its sound. The vowel teams that we include in our word lists are: ai, au, aw, ay, ea, ee, ew, ey, ie, oa, oi, oo, ou, ow, oy, and ue. Examples of words with vowel teams are: law, peel, boat, loot, cue. Examples of nonsense words with vowel teams are: quain, zew, hoil.

Vowel teams can be particularly difficult to learn because they can often make multiple sounds. In our word lists, ie can make two sounds (pie vs. brief), and ow can make two sounds (cow vs. crow). We did not include the less-common sounds for certain other vowel teams (e.g., the sounds in “head,” “soup,” or “book”), because they are relatively rare and often learned in the context of sight words. Keep in mind when reading nonsense words with vowel teams that there could be more than one correct pronunciation!

Ideas for using word lists in the classroom

Ideas for using word cards in the classroom

Know any great phonics games? Have a favorite center using word cards? I’d love to hear your ideas! Shoot me an email at beccatheteacher (at) gmail (dot) com

About me!

Hi! My name is Miss Becca, and I’m an elementary school teacher in New York. Over the course of my teaching career, I’ve taught every grade from kindergarten through fifth grade. I’m certified in both special and general education, and I’ve taught students from both populations. I’ve also taught reading intervention.

I used to spend a lot of time creating my own word lists and word cards to supplement phonics programs and reading intervention programs. Learning to read is hard, and students need a lot of practice, but it was difficult to find resources targeting exactly what I needed! I created to make my own job in the classroom easier, and hopefully to help other teachers as well!

I hope you find this resource useful! Feel free to shoot me an email at beccatheteacher (at) gmail (dot) com with any questions or feedback!

P.S. – Check out my store on Teachers Pay Teachers! 😊


Email me at beccatheteacher (at) gmail (dot) com

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