Letter C sound


The letter /c/ is another letter learned early on for students when learning phonics, and is quite important not only for its sound but also for its shape in writing. The hard letter c sound will be a important for other sounds, and you should make sure your student can pronounce this sound well. Checkout these phonics books if you need help with the letter c sound.

This letter will also serve as a base for blending other Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (CVC) words, as its a common letter in English. The C shape will also act as a foundation for children learning how to write the letters of the alphabet.

Phonics Pronunciation of letter C sound

The /c/ sound is usually taught in phonics with the snapping of the hands as if playing the castanets and saying the c-c-c sound. This sound should be taught as a hard /c/ sound, and not the /s/ sound. Some students may be confused because of the soft /c/ sound, but this should not be taught to students until later on. Because of this, don’t introduce /c/ words that have the /s/ sound to your students when teaching phonics, such as ice cream or face as it will confuse them. You may do this later on for /c/ words, but try not to confuse them for blending purposes. The /c/ sound and the /k/ sound are similar, and can even be taught together for more advanced students. 

This sound is a stop consonant, which means that the airflow is at first stopped, then released to make the sound. The resulting /c/ sound is made when releasing back the air. To make the /c/ sound, place the back of the tongue up against the roof of the mouth near the back. As your tongue is in this position, push air through your mouth and release it while lowering your tongue. You may refer to this process of making the sound if your children cannot pronounce the /c/ sound, and need help along the process.

To help your child understand the /c/ sound, slowly repeat the sound c-c-c for them, and let them copy how you make the sound. After they understand the sound well, you can move onto longer sounds and variations with vowels such as ca,ca,ca, co,co,co, cee,cee,cee.

Visual hints

If some students cannot pronounce the /c/ sound correctly, it may be due to their positioning of their tongue at the roof or back of their mouth. You can try an activity where you law down on your back with the student. Try to pronounce the /c/ sound from this position, as the tongue will naturally fall nearer the back of the mouth due to gravity, which may help them say the sound. Once they can say the /c/ sound from this position, you can gradually get them back standing to try to say the sound.

You can also try another activity similar with other stop sounds, as air will be released when they say the /c/ sound. Put your hand right in front of your mouth when saying the sound, and have your child do the same so they can feel the puff of air when saying the /k/ sound. This may help them understand how they should say the sound better.

Handwriting Help with letter C

The /c/ letter shape will be foundational for the students understanding of writing the alphabet letters, and should be practiced and written repeatedly so the student fully understands this shape. The /c/ shape is the base for many other alphabet letters, such as a, b, d, e, g, o, p, q. You can find the /c/ shape within all of these letter listen above, and they can be taught by first writing the /c/ letter, and extending it to form other letters as well.This is you should have many worksheets and activities for students to practice and memorize writing the /c/ shape, so the other letters will be easier to write. You can also checkout soem ABC books to help with learning the letters.

Also as the uppercase and lowercase /c/ is the same shape, this will be easier for the students to understand and repeat. Writing this shape will also teach the students to write from top to bottom, and to help them develop their circular writing skills when developing hand muscles. After a lot of practice they will develop muscle memory for the /c/ shape and will write it naturally. It will be worthwhile to spend more time learning how to write the letter /c/, not only for their muscle development but also to learn the other letters.

Letter /c/ Blending

The letter /c/ is a useful consonant to start blending with students, as it is used in many three letter words for the students. Once the student can say the /c/ sound and it is also possible to write it well, you can move onto longer sounds and incorporate vowels as well. Try to start them off with the easy sounds as in ca,ca,ca, co,co,co and cee,cee,cee. 

Once your child has mastered the easy sounds with the letter /c/, you can move onto blending three letter CVC words as in c-a-t, c-a-p, c-o-t, c-u-t. The letter /c/ is found in many basic words in English, so you have many words to choose from when blending with your student.

After their understanding of /c/ letter words is better, it’s also important to introduce them to words that end in the letter /c/ as well. This is for them to know that this stop sound also helps end a word when blending and saying words. You can emphasize the hard /c/ sound in words that end with c, so they understand this sound stops the word. 

Blend words ending in /c/ such as T-i-c, d-o-c, s-a-c, m-a-c. This will be useful for their understand later on when they learn the sound /ck/, as many words end in this such as kick, back, tack, pack, etc.

Checkout our Top 25 phonics books for reading letters

Everyday English

Once the students learn the letter /c/ sound, they should repeat the sound and write the /c/ shape to fully understand this letter. Reinforce this with useful everyday English words for their learning.

There are many animals that start with the letter /c/, such as cat, cow, and crab. You can have fun by pretending to be a cat or cow as well!

Various foods also have the letter /c/ in them, such as candy, cake and coke-cola. Students usually know these sweet foods well, so you can repeat these for the /c/ sound.

Many everyday objects also start with the letter /c/, like cap, car, and clock. You can pretend to be a clock with your students and say tic-toc, tic-toc.

Letter /c/ sentence reading

After learning how to say and blend words with the letter /c/, it’s good to introduce basic sentences to the children to read. These sentences are meant to be basic for students learning the alphabet letters and phonics as their second language.

Here are some short sentences you can read together with the students.

A fat cat

A cat and a cod

I can see a cat

I can see a car

I cut a cake

It’s important your students practice reading short sentences, so they gain the confidence and can practice their blending skills. Therefore, encourage your students to read these sentences to improve their phonics and blending with the letter /c/ !

Letter c tongue twisters

Starting with the clock sounds tic-toc, the letter /c/ tongue twisters can be really fun for students to say, and equally as difficult. Get your tongue ready to say these funny sentences!

-Catch a can canner canning a can as he does the cancan, and you’ve caught a can-canning can-canning can canner!

-Crisp crust crackles. Crisp crust crackles. Crisp crust crackles.

-If a good cook could cook cuckoos so fine,

And a good cook could cook cuckoos all the time,

How many cuckoos could a good cook cook,

If a good cook could cook cuckoos?

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