teaching resource

CVC Word Chain Ladders - Worksheets

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 8 pages | Grades: K - 1

Build word chains with CVC words using this set of printable phonics worksheets.

Change a Phoneme, Build a Word Chain!

Adding, deleting, and substituting the phonemes in words is a fundamental skill that leads to an increased understanding of letters and their corresponding sounds. The more our students can manipulate phonemes to create new words, the better their phonemic awareness will be!

This set of worksheets allows students to manipulate phonemes to create a continuous word chain. Students start at the top of the ladder and work their way down, changing one letter in the word each time. Pictures are included to help students decipher which word is missing.

Differentiated CVC Word Chaining Worksheets 

This resource contains two separate word chain worksheets, and there are two versions of each worksheet. An answer key is also provided.

  • Version 1: Only the manipulated phoneme is missing in each word. Students use the picture cues and the provided letters to work out the missing phoneme and write it in the space provided.
  • Version 2: The entire word is missing. Students must use the picture cues alone to build the word chains. The first and last words in the chain are provided. 

Tips for Scaffolding and Extension

  • Support students who may need additional scaffolding by adding in every second or third word in the word chain as a guide, and to make the task seem less daunting.
  • Challenge more-capable students by asking them to continue each word chain by changing one phoneme at a time.

Easily Download & Print

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or Google Slides version of this resource. 

As this resource contains an answer sheet, we recommend you print one copy, then photocopy the desired number of worksheets for your class.

This resource was created by Lisamarie Del Valle, a teacher in Florida and a Teach Starter collaborator.


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