Free CVC Words Picture Sort

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.

Find more preschool activities with our best-selling Ultimate Preschool Activity Pack in our shop!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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!

Playdough to Plato is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Click here to subscribe

Our members get MORE!

Would you like 24/7 unlimited access to all of Playdough to Plato’s math and literacy centers, STEM challenges and digital games including hundreds of exclusive printables you can’t find anywhere else? Check out The Plato Pack!


  1. veronica

    Thank you.

  2. shevy parnes

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

    • Karen

      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!🤦‍♀️

  3. Janice

    The link for the mats is not working. Please help?

  4. Anita

    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?

  5. Lani

    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 🙂

    • Kimberleigh

      Hello Rosemary,
      Thank so much for your kind words!

  6. Karen

    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!

    • Kimberleigh

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

  7. Joy R

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



  1. Middle Sounds Worksheets - Playdough To Plato - […] your kids are learning about middle sounds in words, then you’ll love these simple, kid-friendly worksheets! They are great for…
  2. Middle Vowel Activity Sheets – Playdough To Plato – - […] your kids are learning about middle sounds in words, then you’ll love these simple, kid-friendly middle vowel activity sheets!…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!

This only happens twice a year! Join The Reading Roadmap now.