- After having worked with the phonetic reading material until
they are comfortable reading phonetic words, the children need
to be introduced to the main rules in English spelling. In the
English language we have combined certain letters and given them
new value. For example, whenever we see "s" and "h"
together, they represent the phonogram "sh," as in
ship. There are between 20-30 phonograms that the children need
to learn. Below are listed the phonograms for which material
can be developed:
ch sh th ph wh wr
tion sion ture
ai a-e ay
ee ea y ey ie e-e
ie igh i-e y i
oa o-e o oe
oo(1) oo(2) u-e ew
ou ow(1) ou(2)
ar or er ur ir
are (care) air
le silent b silent t silent k (kn)
soft c soft g
- In teaching the phonograms, we use words which contain one
phonogram but are otherwise phonetic. For example, when teaching
the "sh" phonogram you could use brush, shell, ship,
fish, dish, shrub, trash, etc.
- Reading material is made for each of the main phonograms.
Rarely used phonograms are taught as a child encounters them
and no special material is needed.
- The following material is used in the initial presentation:
- 1. Picture and word boxes - green boxes containing only one
phonogram but which are otherwise phonetic. The pictures are
mounted on green cards, approximately 2 1/2" square. The
writing on the cards can be smaller than with the initial phonetic
material, with lines approximately 1/4" apart. Use black
ink. The name of the phonogram is written on the lid of the box.
For example, in the "ch" box you might have pictures
and word cards for the following words: ranch, chess, bench,
match, chick, chimp, witch, crutch. Prepare one box for each
phonogram, using as many pairs of picture and word cards as possible.
For some phonograms you may have as many as twelve, for others,
only three or four.
- The teacher takes a box to the child's table, shows him the
phonogram on the lid and tells the child, "Whenever we see
these two letters together, they make the sound 'ch.' We don't
say 'c,' 'h,' we say 'ch.' Can you say 'ch?'" The teacher
shows the child how to lay out the picture cards. She then shows
the child a word card and asks him to read it and place it beside
the corresponding picture. The child continues reading the word
cards and matching them to the pictures. If at any time the child
forgets which letters form the phonogram, he can refer to the
- If the child is understanding the exercise well, at the end
of the lesson, the teacher tells him, "The green boxes are
on this shelf and they are all here for you to read. You may
choose any box and if you don't know the sound on the lid, bring
it to me and I'll tell you."