Z Words for Kids

Below, you’ll find our list of Z words for kids that can be adapted for vocabulary lessons. We’ve also provided some fun text ideas that you can use by copying and pasting into your lesson materials.

Zoom, zoom! Time to zip over to Zanesville, OH! In this series, our alphabet friends, A through Z, become tourists in America’s cities. At each of their stops, letters dig into their supplies in order to learn a new word study skill or vocabulary term. 

Z has packed its bags for Zanesville, Ohio! During Z’s trip, Z is excited to learn about different syllable features and patterns with the help of some wonderful word lists in Z ‘s bag. Z is looking forward to exploring Zanesville and learning at the same time! 

Tip: Best educational practices related to word study include: read-alouds, discussion, and writing. It is important to build rich connections between readers and the vocabulary words they learn. For instance, discuss sample sentences and make other personal associations to bolster recall, decoding, and encoding. As always, remember that some words may require frontloading and framing depending on the learner’s age, background, and needs. Helpful reminders for readers: A vowel is a speech sound produced by letters a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y. A consonant is a speech sound produced by all of the other letters in the alphabet. 

CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) Words: “This would be more fun if it was called ‘The Z Bridge,’” sighs Z as it makes its way across the Y Bridge. This bridge is a historic landmark and iconic bridge that spans the Muskingum Rivers. As Z enjoys the view, it digs into its bag for the very first list. The first word list is about CVC words. CVC words have a specific order: one consonant, followed by a vowel, followed by another consonant. Examples of CVC words include “cat,” “sit,” and “fun.” Below is a short list of consonant-vowel-consonant words.


Closed Syllables: After a trip over the bridge, Z feels its creative juices flowing and decides to tour the Zanesville Museum of Art. This art museum features a collection of American and European art, as well as exhibitions that change throughout the year. Z has a great time! After lots of satisfying viewings, Z sits down to review the next list in its bag: this one is all about closed syllables. When the vowel of a syllable is short, the syllable is closed off by one or more consonants. Examples of closed syllable words include “hat,” “pin,” and “dotted.” Let’s take a look! Here are some closed syllable words that contain the letter “z.”


Open Syllables: “Riverboat cruise, everyone,” shouts Z! Z decides to enjoy the breeze on the Lorena Sternwheeler, a replica of a historic steam-powered paddlewheel boat. While aboard, Z pulls out a list of open syllable words. Open syllables have a vowel sound that is long and ends with a vowel. Because there is no consonant after the vowel in the syllable, the vowel is able to make the long sound, which sounds exactly like the name of the letter that makes the sound in that syllable. Examples of open syllable words include “no,” “me,” and “hi.” The “o” in “no”sounds just like how “o” is identified by name. The “i” in “hi” sounds just like how “i” is identified by name.


R-Controlled Vowels: Z’s next stop takes it to bronze sculptor Alan Cottrill’s studio. Z enjoys the art and appreciates the craftsmanship that is required of creating sculptures from this medium. Z heads to its next stop and on the way, reviews the next list from its backpack. This list is all about “R” and how it can be a bossy letter. “Zoinks!” says Z. R-controlled vowels happen when a vowel is controlled by the letter “r.” Examples of r-controlled vowels include “car,” “bird,” and “fern.” Z reviews the list below:


Final Stable Syllables: Z finds a nice place to relax at Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl. While enjoying some absolutely delicious homemade ice cream, Z kicks its feet up and reviews the next list from its backpack (after wiping its hands, of course!). Good thinking’, Z! Final stable syllables are found in the final (last or lattermost) position of words. These syllables contain a consonant and one of the following vowel endings: -ble, -cle, -dle, -fle, -gle, -kle, -ple, -sle, -tle, -zle, -tion, -sion, -ture, -cian, -cious, and -tious. They are called “stable” because the pronunciation of each is reliable and predictable (always the same). As you’ll see, Z has a big job in many final stable syllable words. Here’s the list that Z reads:


“Z” in Animals: Zoinks! It’s time for another stop! This time, Z travels to The Wilds, a safari park and conservation center where Z can see a variety of animals. Z hardly feels like it’s in Ohio! This is pretty zany! Z takes a moment to review a list of words related to animals in its backpack. Let’s see what Z reads!


“Z” in Communication: Z wants a taste of Ohio’s great outdoors, so it zips over to Dillon State Park– a beautiful outdoor recreation area with hiking trails, fishing spots, and a reservoir for boating and swimming! So refreshing, Z! Z soaks its toes in the water and reads its next list. Here are some “z” nouns, adjectives, and verbs that readers and communicators should become familiar with.

zanyzenithzest for learningzestfullyzip it
zappyzero in zest for lifezestyzippy
zealzero tolerancezingerzigzagzoned in
zenzestzestfulzingerzoned out