teaching resource

Tic-Tac-Toe Game: Short I CVC Words

  • Editable

    Editable:  Google Slides

  • Non-Editable

    Non-Editable:  PDF

  • Pages

    Pages:  7

  • Curriculum

    Curriculum:  CCSS, TEKS

  • Grade

    Grade:  K - 1

Practice reading short /i/ CVC words with this set of 6 tic-tac-toe games.

Help students blend the short /i/ phoneme with constants to sound out CVC words

Practice Reading Short I CVC Words

This resource can be used as a reading center activity or with your guided reading group to practice reading CVC words with the short /i/ phoneme. You might also send the boards home for short vowel practice.

To play, each player needs a set of colored counters. Each player needs a different color. Player 1 chooses a square and reads the word. If they read it correctly, they place a colored counter on the square. If they do not read it correctly, the square remains empty, and it is Player 2’s turn. Play continues until someone gets three counters in a row either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. 

More Short I CVC Word Activities + Scaffolding and Extension Tips

In addition to reading center play, you can also use this game to create full-class learning opportunities like warm-up activities, lesson reviews, comprehension assessments, and more! 

Bell Ringer Activity

Make multiple copies of each game card and place them in the front of the room. Pair up students as they enter the classroom and have them play the cards until the day begins. Pairs can swap cards with other teams as they finish. 

Short I CVC Word Sentences 

Have students choose words from the game cards to put in sentences.

CVC Word Phoneme Manipulation

Have students substitute beginning and ending sounds in each of the CVC words on their game board. If they can make a new word when the phonemes are changed, have them write the new words on a piece of paper. 

Looking for help scaffolding this activity and others

​​If students are struggling with reading the words, guide them in orally reciting the sounds and have the students blend the words together. After reciting several words, have the students take over and blend on their own. If students are still struggling, review letter sounds with a visual reminder, like an anchor chart or an alphabet display. You might also consider small group intervention. 

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Print on cardstock for added durability and longevity. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access. 

To turn this teaching resource into a sustainable activity, slip the game boards into dry-erase sleeves. Students can mark the game boards with a dry-erase marker, then erase and reuse them.

Before You Download

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

This resource was created by Lauren Piper, a teacher in Illinois and a Teach Starter Collaborator. 


Get even more CVC word practice and short vowel recognition with these fun activities! 

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Identifying Short Vowel Sounds Interactive PowerPoint

An interactive quiz to practice identifying short vowel sounds in words.

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Thirty-two bingo cards using CVC words.

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Short Vowel Worksheets - Middle Sounds

Identify medial or middle vowel sounds with this set of three worksheets. 

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