A precursor to reading is learning the sounds that letters make. Without this solid recall, reading CVC words is difficult. Wait until children can proficiently identify sounds, then move on to the next step, which is having them blend sounds together to form a word. This is an important process, and it is essential for both reading and writing that children learn how to blend sounds fluidly, as opposed to barking out each sound individually and then struggling to put them back together. CVC words lend themselves well to this process.
When introducing CVC words, the goal is to set children up for success. Choose words that contain sounds they know well. It is also key to choose words that have distinct sounds that are easy to identify. For example, the /a/ sound is easy to hear in “cat,” but less distinct in the word “can.” Also, think about which vowel sounds children know best. This is often the /a/ sound, but maybe something else.
When introducing CVC words, start with one vowel sound. You can use games to help children practice. Model how to blend the sounds together smoothly. For example, the word “cab” should not sound like “cu-a-bu,” with the addition of short ‘u’ sounds added. This can make reading the word difficult. Instead, model how to say the word slowly, with each sound blending into the next.