Picture sorting is a simple and engaging way for children to learn about short vowel sounds in consonant-vowel-consonant words like cat, bed, top and cut.  When they say the name of pictures out loud, children can stretch the sounds out S-L-O-W-L-Y, isolating the middle sound in the CVC words.

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I’ve created two sets of FREE sorting mats. Begin with the mats that focus on matching the pictures to the corresponding vowel sound. Then, once the children have the hang of that, move onto the short vowel mats where they can match the pictures to corresponding CVC words.FREE CVC Picture Sorts

Matching the Pictures to the Vowel Sound

To start, print a sorting mat and word cards on cardstock to give them extra durability and cut them apart. If you’ll be using them in the classroom, laminate them too.

Then, give each student or pair of students a mat and words. Have them pick up one card at a time, say the name of the picture out loud, and place it in the correct spot on the mat.

For example, if a child chose the map card, he would say, “map, /a/” and place it on top of an A.

Awesome! Free short vowel picture sorting mats. What a great way to practice CVC words.

Matching the Pictures to the CVC Words

When children are ready for an extra challenge, print the next batch of sorting mats and cards (HERE) on cardstock and cut them apart. Again, if you’ll be using the mats in your classroom, you may want to laminate them for extra durability.

Give each student or pair a mat and corresponding cards. One at a time, have children pick up a card, say the name, and place it in the correct spot on the mat. This time, they’ll be laying the card on the matching word.

FREE Short Vowel Sorting Mats

Extending the Activity

An easy way to extend the learning is to use the picture cards as a prompt for spelling CVC words. I love using mini whiteboards for this. For easy storage, I staple a zip lock bag to the back of each mat – that makes it easy to find the right pictures when you need them.

FREE CVC Picture Sorts

Ready to Play?

Grab your sorting mats below and then check out our best-selling Ultimate Preschool Activity Pack!

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  1. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! Just what i was looking for! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Thank you so very much for a wonderful resource! I’m having trouble identifying one of the pictures in medial vowel sort number 4 group. It’s the picture of the “lad.” There is already “sad” and “cab” for short a and lad would make three short a pictures. Also there is only one short o picture: “top.” So I’m finding this confusing. Am I missing something? I won’t be surprised if I am. Lol!?‍♀️

  2. Are there two different downloads? I was able to download the picture to vowel set, but not the picture to word set. But when I took a look at my download it looked like all the cards are on one set. Is that correct?

  3. Thank you sooo much for a very great English Lesson resources for my kids at school…a huge help for me.
    God bless you more and more Rosemary 🙂

    1. Hello Rosemary,
      Thank so much for your kind words!

  4. Thank you so very much for this wonderful resource. Thank you also for considering our low teacher budgets and making this free to download! May you be blessed many times over!

    1. Hello Karen,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you find hours of inspiration for your classroom.
      Kimberleigh // Happiness Ambassador

  5. Thanks so much. It was exactly what I was looking for.

  6. These look awesome! I would love to use them, but the link isn’t working for me. Is there any other way I could access these materials?

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      When you click on the blue “Download Here” button, you’ll get a pop-up that prompts you for your name and email address. After providing this information, you’ll be directed to the PDF. If you aren’t seeing these, try checking to see if the browser is blocking pop-ups from the site. You could also try using a different browser like Firefox. Let me know if you’re not able to grab the picture sort!

      Sarah // Playdough to Plato Team

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