Most teachers recognize that the primary focus of phonics instruction is to help beginning readers understand how letters are linked to sounds (phonemes) to form letter-sound correspondences and spelling patterns, and to help them learn how to apply this knowledge in their reading. Phonics instruction produces the best results when letter-sound relationships are taught in a clearly defined sequence. Teachers can do this by including the letter-sound relationships of both consonants and vowels in target words. Teachers will also recognize that the simultaneous presentation of both written words and sounds can be effective in improving children's decoding skills.
Phonics can best be taught in small groups of like-leveled students. Teachers should also choose books that are tailored to the abilities of these select students. Teachers can begin phonics instruction by showing students to recognize that the rime segment of an unfamiliar word is identical to that of a familiar word, and then blending the known rime with the new word onset, for example reading the words fat and hat by recognizing that -at is contained in the known word cat. Teachers can also use phonics instruction to show students how to convert letter to sounds and then putting those sounds together to form words. Please use the lesson plans below to help in implementing these instructional tips.
Phonics Lesson Plans:
Learning Phonics Through Making Words (Grade Range: 1st) Students manipulate letters to spell words. They listen to a story that contains words using the lesson letters, and using the letters a, i, c, g, m, n, and p they spell various words following step-by-step directions given by the teacher. This lesson is based on a phonics lesson from the book "Systematic Sequential Phonics They Use" by Patricia Cunningham.
Manipulating the Sounds in Words (Grade Range: 3rd) Students discuss a variety of phonics rules that deal with changing sounds within words. They read and discuss the examples with the teacher, then read the fable "The Lion and the Mouse" with a partner, drawing a picture of what happens in the beginning, middle, and the end of the story.
Reading is the Key (Comprehension) (Grade Range: 6th - 8th) Students incorporate phonics, word attack skills, use of context clues, and use of word origins to improve a student's comprehension of assigned readings in various classes. They comprehend the role of decoding.
Signs and Symbols to Acquire Language (Grade Range: 8th - 10th) Students utilize deductive reasoning to decipher unfamiliar words and sounds. They acquire high-frequency words by viewing street signs and playing phonics games. This lesson is intended for students acquiring a foreign language.