Those who teach reading and literacy are truly doing a special service for children. What would life be like without the ability to pick up a new book and explore brave new worlds? While there are many ways to approach spelling lessons, one option is to break up the alphabet and study new words by individual letter. Below, you'll find some vocabulary words that start with C for kids as well as activities to keep learning fun and engaging for little learners.
Words That Start With C For Kids
Preschool/Kindergarten: C-Word List
A lifelong love of learning can begin as early as preschool or kindergarten with the right compassion and care. Here are a few C words for kids to jump start their journeys with spelling:
- can - a container normally made of metal with a lid
- cat - a small, soft-furred animal
- cob - a stick of corn
- cod - a fish with mild flavor
- cot - a narrow bed that can be folded up
- cow - the female of domestic cattle
- cut - to divide with a sharp instrument
Below, you'll find the first of many letter C activities. This Trace the Letter worksheet is great for mastering fine motor skills too!
1st Grade: C-Word List
First grade is a lovely time to introduce new and exciting concepts, such as the "cr" sound in "crawl." Here are a few nice options for your C words list.
- cabin - a small house in the woods
- cage - an enclosed structure made of wires and bars for confining animals
- camp - a place to live for a short period of time
- card - a flat, stiff, thick piece of paper used to express a greeting
- chair - a piece of furniture to sit on
- chew - to use teeth to grind food into smaller pieces
- chin - the part of the face below the lower lip
- classroom - a room in a school where classes are taught
- clock - a device for measuring and showing the time of day
- crawl - dragging of the body along the ground
To help your students learn each of these words, consider creating a worksheet where they can match the word to the picture.
2nd Grade: C-Word List
Second grade can easily expound upon many of the concepts learned in first grade. It's worth spending more time on those "ch" words, like "change" and "chirp." And, words like "chirp" tie in nicely to the activity listed below.
- cactus - a desert plant
- candle - a mass of wax with a wick for burning
- cash - physical currency, like bills and coins
- change - the act of becoming different
- chirp - to make the short, shrill sound of birds
- clerk - a person who works in an office, performing duties like filing and organizing
- closet - a small space where clothes or other items are stored
- coffee - a drink made from roasted beans
- craft - a special skill or art
- crash - to violently smash and make a loud noise
For words to stick in childrens' minds, it's useful to associate the words with the real world. As you practice each of the vocabulary words above, you might bring some props into the classroom. Hold up a candle, ask students to identify it, and then someone can walk up to the board and write out the word.
3rd Grade: C-Word List
In third grade, teachers like to turn up the heat. There are words here that can't be sounded out, like "capture." See how many of these C words will work for your classroom lesson plan:
- cable - a rope-like bunch of wires used to connect two things
- capture - to take hold of or control of
- cherry - a small, fleshy fruit with a hard pit
- chill - a sudden feeling of coldness
- climate - the weather of a location over a long period of time
- coast - land along the ocean
- contain - to serve as a holder for something
- could - a word used in place of "can" to demonstrate doubt
- coward - a person who lacks courage
cracker - a thin, crisp wafer or biscuit
4th Grade: C-Word List
You'll notice some lengthier additions here, including "congratulate" and "calculate." Take a look at this sampling of words for fourth-grade students:
- calculate - to use reason or common sense to determine something
- capable - having the skills to do something well
- century - a 100-year-long period of time
- challenge - an act of rebellion against someone or something
- character - a unique symbol, letter, or mark used in writing
- column - a vertical arrangement of something
- combine - to join together or unite
- confuse - to make someone unable to understand
- congratulate - to praise or compliment someone
- contribute - to give something
A fun way to encourage students to remember important vocabulary words is to ask them to draw one of the words. Give them some "free draw" time to select one of their vocabulary words on a sheet of paper. You can then staple their artwork to a piece of construction paper.
5th Grade: C-Word List
Enter the world of homophones! Fifth grade is a nice time to introduce words that sound alike but are spelled differently. "Capitol" and "capital" will work well for that lesson plan. Aside from that, here are a few toughies that will take your students' vocabulary to new heights:
- companion - a partner or friend who accompanies
- compassion - to have sympathy and want to help someone
- compose - to put something in order to write a piece of music
- courteous - polite or considerate
- capital - the seat of government
- collaborate - to work together
- commend - to recommend or praise someone
- concise - brief and to the point
- consequence - a natural result that flows from something else
- contaminate - to infect, corrupt, or make impure
- convenient - something easy to do
- cumulative - increasing in size or quantity
A great classroom activity here is one that will keep the students active and engaged. Write all of your vocabulary words on individual flashcards. Then, ask students to act out each of the words pulled. For this activity, they could easily act out companion or compose. Feel free to give them access to any props that may be required and, perhaps, you'll even create a word bank on the board so students have words to choose from.
Catapult Children's Vocabulary
Doesn't it feel great to know that, whether you teach preschool or fifth grade, you're setting your students up for major wins in life? The sooner the little learners of the world taste the triumph that comes with an ability to spell "cat," the better positioned they will be to succeed in their academic endeavors.
As you continue to shape lives, check out these Free Spelling Printables. Along with the handy resources listed there, you may also enjoy some of the tips and tricks for successful lesson planning.