An important stage in learning to read is the mastery of three letter words, especially words in the format: consonant/vowel/consonant.
These type of words, (for example, “cat”, “pig” and “leg”), are usually the first used to teach children to “sound out” words. Once a child knows the basic sounds made by the letters of the alphabet they are only a short, (but very important) step away from starting to read.
We have produced five free printable worksheets to help you give your child a head start. And in addition to helping your child learn to read three letter words our worksheets will give them some important practice in writing these words as well!
How to use the worksheets
1. Encourage your child to practice tracing the dotted letters of each word. Just this on its own is valuable as many children struggle with the fine motor skills required to write – so any extra practice at a young age will be beneficial.
2. If your child knows the sound each letter makes help them sound out each letter in the word.
3. Show your child how to combine these three sounds more quickly and how this leads to the formation of a word.
4. Together, find the image of the word on the right side of the page and encourage your child to draw a line connecting the word to the image.
5. Assist your child as required as they progress through the rest of the worksheet and onto the next ones.
Keep it fun!
It is important to stress that these worksheets should be enjoyable for your child. Ensure you don’t put any pressure on them and do not criticize them or show any disappointment if they struggle. Children are very perceptive and will pick-up quickly on any negativity from you – and the last thing you want is for them to associate reading and writing with unhappiness.
And if your child starts to get tired or bored of the activity, put it away for another day!
There are lots of different approaches to teaching a child to read.
Learning the alphabet and then moving onto three letter words, in conjunction with learning some “sight words” (basic words such as “that”, “the” and “why” which are not so easily sounded out and so instead children are taught to recognize the word as a whole) is one of many effective methods.
In the end, as long as your child is being exposed to words regularly in a fun, pressure-free environment it can only be a good thing!