Orton-Gillingham Decoded: Mastering VCCV Patterns for Better Reading and Spelling


Once students learn closed and magic-e syllables we can move into teaching syllable division, beginning with VCCV, the Vowel, Consonant, Consonant, Vowel pattern.

If you have not read the post(s) on REVLOC, please read that now, and come back. It is important to have an understanding of REVLOC before moving into syllable division because we need to know at least the closed syllable type for learning syllable division.

The first pattern taught in syllable division is VCCV, or Vowel-Consonant-Consonant-Vowel. There are four different kinds of VCCV word patterns. They are labeled according to REVLOC syllable types.

They are:

Rabbit                           Two closed syllables

Reptile                          One Closed, One Magic E syllables

Candy                           One Closed, One Open syllables where the y at the end says, long e

Hornet                          One Closed, One R-Controlled syllables

To determine the type of word, we underline vowels, label the pattern, and, in this syllable pattern, divide between the two consonants, label each syllable based on REVLOC, and use that labeling to pronounce the word.

Here is an example of the dividing of each:

Here are examples of each type of word pattern. See if you can divide them!

Rabbit words. Underline vowels, divide between consonants, and label syllables according to REVLOC.

Plastic

Muffin

Mutton

Segment

Aspen

Puffin

Tennis

Velvet

Dentist

Bandit

Sudden

Goblet

Sandal

Signal

In order to make sure a student is grasping the concept and not just memorizing words, it is common to use nonsense words in exercises. Below is an example of some nonsense words to divide.

Flimsat

Hegnon

Vindip

Dibsob

Wombud

Kinvit

Uglol

Algam

Lansut

In addition to coding words, students should practice reading all words out loud. This fortifies the understanding of the different syllable types and the sounds they make. Students should even read the nonsense words.

Reptile Words. One closed and one magic e syllable. Divide between two consonants in VCCV pattern.

Hemline

Stampede

Sunshine

Costume

Dictate

Baptize

Ignite

Compile

Confide

Dislike

Candy words. One closed syllable, one open syllable where the y at the end is pronounced as a long e. VCCV is divided between the two consonants.

Taffy

Lobby

Fifty

Dusty

Hobby

Nanny

Sixty

Handy

Bumpy

Floppy

Plenty

Ugly

Nifty

Thrifty

Jiffy

Kitty

Pansy

Witty

Caddy

Hornet Words. One of the syllables will be R-controlled. Divide between the two consonants. This pattern is taught later in the scope and sequence — after R-controlled vowels and R-controlled syllables are taught.

Market

Butler

Marlin

Banner

Garnet

Orbit

Border

Tardy

Scamper

Termite

Otter

Lumber

Hammer

Garment

Fender

Rafter

Perfume – R controlled and magic e

Burly – R controlled and open

Garlic

Sister

Derby

Harness

Garden

Harvest

Limber

Scarlet

Sherbet

Here is a list of three-syllable VCCV words. And a picture of how they would be labeled.

Fantastic

Encompass

Confiscate

Atlantic

Indignant

Compensate

Insistent

photo (1)

Want more? Check out the Workbook Store. This information plus worksheets are in the workbook store. See VCCV Workbook Packet Rabbit Words and Scope & Sequence Workbook 2 for the worksheets in this post.

(16) Comments

  1. This is a very good site for me while doing my homework. I hope that you will come up with more very sophisticated words.
    From Byron
    To (whoever you are)

  2. Wow, I was amazed to find this information today! I am an ESE elementary school teacher who has gone through the training of Project Read.Project Read teaches the 5 cutting patterns and 7 syllabication types. I wanted to start teaching my 8 year old this way of decoding ,so when I searched for vccv words I came across your sight. I am SO EXCITED! I did a lesson with her and my niece with vccv and used your terminology of “rabbit,reptile, candy, hornet” words and it went so well! I made a color coded list of each type and taught them how to “cut/mark” the words. Thank you so much! I am now visiting your other posts to check out that terminoglogy….like camal and tiger words. This is awesome!

  3. What about -Cle words with a closed first syllable like bubble, apple, and rattle? Are these considered VCCV words? Do you teach this pattern?

    1. Hi Rebecca, -cle is actually its own syllable type, the L in REVLOC (fle would say “f’l” ble would say “b’l,” etc.), and the pattern is also its own syllable pattern C+LE — taught as a pattern. “When you see C+LE, go to the end and count back three.” Then divide. You teach it that way for both “table” words with an open first syllable and “puzzle” words with a closed first syllable. A closed pattern can also have words that do not have a doubled consonant, like “rumple” or “gristle.” This C+ LE pattern is taught later in a scope and sequence than VCCV.
      Please let me know if you have follow-up questions to this explanation.

      Jen

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